Conspiracies and the Rise of Fascism

Q-Anon has been making headlines lately. For the uninitiated, it is a conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles running a global child sex-trafficking ring is plotting against President Donald Trump, who is battling them, leading to a “day of reckoning” involving the mass arrest of journalists and politicians (Seriously).

Unfortunately, this is a reoccurring theme throughout world history, but we’ll start with Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler. Yes, that Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company and that Hitler, Fuhrer of Nazi Germany. I want to write a quick disclaimer: I started writing this before the 2020 election, and a lot of my fears have since been realized and this isn’t specific to the United States (see Brazil and India). Before I continue I want to be clear about my political affiliations: I am Independent; I support policies by both Republicans and Democrats. In the 2016 election, I supported Marco Rubio (R), and in 2020 I supported Elizabeth Warren (D). Neither of which became electoral candidates. As always, most of the information herein is sourced by scientists and scholars and not news media networks.

Q-Anon

It all began with the rise of Wikileaks, a repository of leaked government emails, data, etc. On a now-abandoned Twitter account, there was a claim that “pizza” was a code word for child pornography and exposed amongst a variety of Democrat leaders’ emails, with Hillary Clinton in the middle. This later became known as “pizzagate”. Although it was completely debunked by numerous journalists, lawyers, and experts, it ultimately started the movement that many would say helped push Donald Trump into the presidency with a large campaign regarding Hillary’s emails, with many supporters yelling “LOCK HER UP!”

A person who identified themselves as “Q” on anonymous posting forums named 4chan and 8chan stated that they had Q-level security clearance within the government. For the record, Q-Level Security clearance is only for the Department of Energy, so I’m not sure how that’s relevant to basically anything. Since anyone can post without an account on either forum anonymously, they receive the name “anonymous” or “anons” for short. If you haven’t put the picture together, this is where the name “Qanon” comes from. After allegedly attending an event with Donald Trump, Q claims that Donald Trump was going to take down the whole child sex trafficking sting of Democrats (sources). All of which have been proven false, according to the FBI. Ironically, the phrase “where there’s smoke there’s fire” comes to mind as the FBI investigations on child sex trafficking have mostly impacted Republicans (see representative Matt Gaetz, GOP lawyer Anton Lazzarro, and GOP Chair Gisela Castro Medina).

The person or persons who identified themselves as Q, have pushed an agenda focused on white power, anti-Semitism, and destroying all enemies who oppose the Trump presidency. This flirts with fascism. Per Mariam-Webster, fascism “is a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”. The FBI has designated Qanon as a terrorist organization (official memo).

QAnon’s believers are getting elected into official positions. Donald Trump’s response to the group has been, “I heard that these are people that love our country” (Fox News source). Bluntly, we have terrorist-supporting officials infiltrating the government and are actively encouraged to do so.

We’ve seen this history in the past, too.

Henry Ford

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a Russian fabricated text describing the Jewish plan for global conquer. It was plagiarized from many other texts, most of which were either plays, articles, and other stories. It was translated into many languages including English (source). Strangely enough, a few of the sources had no mention of Jews and was considered a hodgepodge of text to create a fantastical story. Unfortunately, not everyone saw it that way.

Henry Ford was known for many things including the 5-day workweek, employing Black workers, women, and people with disabilities, which was relatively rare in the early 1900s. In 1918, he purchased The Dearborn Independent where his private secretary acted as editor. Each Ford franchise was required to share the newspaper, one of which included a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. There were four pamphlets included with the Dearborn Independent over the years:

  • Volume 1: The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem (1920)
  • Volume 2: Jewish Activities in the United States (1921)
  • Volume 3: Jewish Influence in American Life (1921)
  • Volume 4: Aspects of Jewish Power in the United States (1922)

In a letter written in 1924, Heinrich Himmler described Ford as “one of our most valuable, important, and witty fighters” (source) after viewing the articles published by Dearborn Independent papers. Himmler was appointed Reichsführer by Hitler when he oversaw the SS and the Gestapo. With the formation of the Einsatzgruppen, he created extermination camps – different from concentration camps – with a focus on genocide, the removal of all Jews, Romans, and other ethnicities.

Hitler himself considered Henry Ford an “inspiration” to the Nazi movement in those exact words (see source above). While there are many arguments against Socialism and its relation to Nazi Germany, I want to be clear here: the word “Nazi” is short for Nationalsozialismus, or National Socialism, which Hitler considered an “evolution of socialism.” National Socialism is the antithesis of liberalism and is considered far-right-wing due to its ideologies. A better word for the far-left leaning is Communism. This picture displays it best:

Below are the principles of nationalism as summed up best by factmyth followed by an example using sources from scientists, and scholars. These are not media-based (news) information to avoid any bias:

  • Anti-specific religions (right-wing, exclusively focused on a small group)
  • Pro-racial separation (right-wing, exclusively focused on a small group)
  • Anti-civil rights for minorities (right-wing, exclusively focused on a small group)
    • The Black Lives Matter movement trying to push for equality amongst minorities is seen as a threat against white people by Republicans and Donald Trump in particular
  • Anti-establishment (left-wing, against the elite; but right-wing, against the protections of the state; and right-wing, in practice the NAZIs became despotic tyrants who used the full power of the state)
  • Anti-homosexual (right-wing, exclusively focused on a small group)
  • Anti-abortion (right-wing, authoritative)
  • Anti-intellectual (right-wing, exclusively focused on a small group)
  • Anti-immigration (right-wing, exclusively focused on a small group)
  • Pro-social programs for their “nationals” or in-group (left-wing, for social programs for a collective; right-wing exclusively focused on a small group).
    • The Proud Boys – right-wing exlusivity for white Christian males in support of the Republican party
    • Oath Keepers – A far-right and anti-government militant/patriot group within the United States who rejects the legitimacy of the Biden administration and played a major role in the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021
    • Antifa – left-wing anti-fascists with a collective vision to prevent fascism
  • Pro-nativist worker (left-wing, for social programs for a collective; right-wing exclusively focused on a small group).
  • Anti-Capitalism on paper (left-wing, against capitalism and toward socialism for the in-group on paper; right-wing, most were capitalists with a strict hierarchy in practice.)

Fake News

While both QAnon’s theory and The Protocols of the Elders of Zio have been thoroughly debunked, there’s a sense of irony that they both involve leaders who use the term “fake news” frequently, regardless if the news is true or not. If it didn’t align with their personal opinions, it was considered fake. You can look at Trump’s Twitter account (https://twitter.com/search?l=&q=fake%20from%3Arealdonaldtrump&src=typd) [UPDATE: He’s banned from Twitter for disinformation. New source: https://www.factcheck.org/2018/01/trumps-phony-fake-news-claims/]. Searching for “fake” and you’ll see a few hundred references to fake news. Hitler did the same, using the term “Lügenpresse”, or fake news, quite frequently (source) when the news didn’t cater in his favor.

Many papers were owned by Jewish publishers and journalists in the early 1900’s throughout Austria and Germany. And, to be fair, there was a liberal bias just like CBS and CNN would be considered today. “When the national-socialist legion Condor bombarded the Spanish town of Guernica in 1937, the propaganda machinery accused the opposing side in the civil war and stated that ‘the Jewish lying press claims that German planes have bombarded the town. However, the international press had to brand it quickly as press maneuver of the Bolshevik, which themselves burned down the city house by house when they left.'” The NAZI party took over a majority of the news media efforts because of this.

Former President Trump has mentioned he was open to purchasing a news network, OANN, as Fox News viewers leave for a more conservative media. Futhermore, Trump is in the process of launching a Social Media platform to compete with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms called “TRUTH Social”.

Mein Kampf, Hitler’s famous book written while he was held in prison, mentions Ford twice as an influence. Regardless, the entire book is based on conspiracy theories. While I want to refrain from comparing Hitler to Trump, there are certain similarities in the parties that support both people in the Nazis, the Neo-Nazis, and QAnon. Phrases such as “law and order” should be considered a serious threat because it’s enabling the oppression of ideas. This is especially true as I see many similarities growing between the GOP core beliefs and National Socialism: Anti-homosexual rights, anti-religion, anti-abortion, and anti-immigration are the more obvious similarities (see examples above). Letting false information spread is dangerous to the fabric of our society and I fear the rise of fascism in not only America, but the entire world as we’re seeing similar leaders emerge in countries like Brazil, India, and Poland.

Suppression of Voters

Most of the above paragraphs were written before the 2020 presidential election and hereafter the events of January 6th, 2021. The suppression of voting rights is worrisome, to say the least. “Indeed, at least 61 bills with restrictive provisions are moving through 18 state legislatures. More specifically, 31 have passed at least one chamber, while another 30 have had some sort of committee action (e.g., a hearing, an amendment, or a committee vote). Overall, lawmakers have introduced at least 389 restrictive bills in 48 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.” (source). In general, below is a quick list of what they’re trying to accomplish:

  • Restriction on mailer voting. A Stanford study found that the error rate for mail-in ballots is 0.0003%, less than in-person voting booths.
  • MO SB 282 would prevent Covid health concerns as an invalid reason for someone to not vote
  • AZ HB 2370, AZ SB 1678, NJ SB 3391, and FL SB 90 limit the timeline for receiving ballots
  • AZ HB 2369 would require all mail-in ballots to be notarized and require voting in person with ID, which hurts disabled citizens or citizens who can’t afford an ID
  • AK SB 39 and AK SB 39 will require a witness signature to all votes
  • MO HB 815, NH HB 429, MS HB 543, NH SB 54, GA SB 29 would all require more strict ID registration including date of birth, a photo. This, again, hurts voters who can’t afford these types of IDs.
  • TX HB 1026, AZ HB 2793, NJ SB 3025 will prevent automatic voter registration and require proof of citizenship.
  • MS HB 586, MS SB 2016, MS SB 2577 will require some citizens to prove that they are citizens within 30 days if requested by voter rolls

Every bill mentioned was introduced by a GOP representative and we should be concerned that they’re favoring laws that change who the voters are so they can gain support instead of changing what they support to gain more voters.

Insurrection Day

I want to reiterate this again: A lot of the earlier pieces of my article were written months before 2021. When I started writing this I was concerned that the amount of disinformation and misinformation spread could potentially lead to a serious attempt to overthrow the democracy of the United States. Unfortunately, it did.

On January 6th, 2021, a group of conspiracy theorists (see QAnon) believed the election was fraudulent and Donald Trump was the official president. Despite countless audits and data proving otherwise, people still believe it. As a result, QAnon set in motion a movement to cancel the election (second source). Vice recreated a timeline of events via cell phone footage from attendees.

Caution: This footage is extremely disturbing

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they’re doing,” Trump said during his January 6 speech. “We will not take it anymore, and that’s what this is all about. And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with: We will stop the steal.”

However, I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that the event occurred even after warnings were well-known and even branded terrorists beforehand, or that those who were directly impacted by the riot are denying it. GOP Representative Andrew Clyde said, “Let me be clear: there was no insurrection. And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie.” Senator Ron Johnson said he “never really felt threatened” because the protesters were largely “people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break a law.” This man can be seen in the video shown above hiding behind some seats in fear, but those same men deny it was a dangerous event, and they never felt threatened. The event is worrisome and the democracy of America should be considered endangered, especially as more threats are being made.