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How to spot fascism

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 pm, May 23rd, 2013 - 95 comments
Categories: law and "order", Spying - Tags:

This. This is fascism. This is fascism published by our national newspaper.

Note the lack of logic. Giving spies the powers that they have in the States could prevent the kind of terrorism that just happened … in the States.

Note the complete faith in those with power. “if you have nothing to hide from the GCSB, then you have nothing to fear.” Do people actually say that and mean it? Yes, fascists do.

Note the support for disproportionate state power. Given the very unlikely odds of a terrorist plot in New Zealand and the very small chance that GCSB surveillance of New Zealanders could stop it, the power to spy on us all is justified.

Aaron Lim is a fascist. My great joy is that every single one of the 78 comments tells him where to stick his fascism.

Aaron Lim, take your fascism and fuck off.

New Zealand Herald, you’re a fucken disgrace for publishing fascist shit.

95 comments on “How to spot fascism ”

  1. Paul 1

    “Aaron Lim completed his master’s thesis on strategic studies. He has worked as an analyst for the NZ Army and as online manager, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. He has also worked for stock-market operator NZX and as a journalist.”
    Well if this is his standard of journalism, he should reapply for his other jobs.
    As a friend of the bankers.
    Zetetic, have you considered writing a letter questioning the Herald on why we haven’t had a headline yet entitled ‘Democracy under attack.’

    • Murray Olsen 1.1

      He can go along with this because deep in the reptilian part of his brain, he thinks he’ll always be one of the ones doing the spying. The higher parts of his brain just don’t work. He could well be a GCSB agent already.

      • Sosoo 1.1.1

        I wouldn’t worry. He’s being mercilessly mocked in the comment to that article.

        They’ll give a Masters degree to anyone with money these days. Even lprent has one. 😉

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          He’s also written a novel, (available on Amazon for a dollar):

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1301/S00079/book-release-unholy-wars-book-one-by-aaron-lim.htm

          But something far worse than al-Qaeda has awakened in Baghdad. Something ancient. Older than Islam or Christianity.

          Something terrible enough to force elite US Delta Force soldiers and ruthless al-Qaeda terrorists to fight together, back to back.

          In Iraq, Ryan Jackson will learn that superstition is merely a name the ignorant give to their ignorance. And there in the real war on terror, there are things worse than al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

          Bridging the gap between military and horror/fantasy genres, UnHoly Wars Book One takes the reader from Auckland to Baghdad, weaving in alternative accounts of current events, including the recent earthquake in Christchurch.

          Yeah, I’ll get right on that. The lead character’s name? “Ryan Jackson”. I guess Jack Ryanson just sounded silly.

          • Sosoo 1.1.1.1.1

            /lol to the max

            Could be much worse:

            /is horrified at the existence of that genre

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, I’m not sure what’s more embarrassing, the Jack Ryan ripoff, or the ‘ChCh earthquake let’s just shove that in there’ move.

              Now I’ve not read the book, it may well be pure awesome and the defining work of its kind, but I just don’t care to bridge the gap between military and horror/fantasy.

              I’d even go so far as to say that I like that gap.

              Pretty sure that the ancient thing awakened in Baghdad will be demonic or alien or who cares actually.

              Point is: “Older than Islam or Christianity”? Careful now.

              • Colonial Viper

                Abrahmanic religions aren’t the oldest belief systems around, by a long shot.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  umm, no shit?

                • felix

                  lolz, I think Pb is wondering if Lim harbours a deep dark fear of another well known Abrahamic religion, one that’s older than Islam or Christianity.

                  He wouldn’t be the first fascist to do so.

          • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.1.2

            Thanks for the laugh, Pb.

          • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1.3

            Is it Judaeism?

          • mac1 1.1.1.1.4

            It’s all been said before- “The Second Coming” by WB Yeats which ends:

            “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
            Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

            We’re thirteen years overdue, according to Yeats’ 2000 year cycle.

    • Pete 1.2

      After a quick look on Proquest and on Academic OneFile, I can only find material Lim worked on as a journalist for Fairfax – mainly on financial issues, but he was hawkish on Afghanistan. He apparently completed his thesis at Otago, but I couldn’t find it on the electronic archive of theses there.

      No Aaron Lim from New Zealand is listed on Linkedin, nor on academia.edu, so I don’t think he’s built up the reputation to be a credible analyst of security issues like this.

      • kiwicommie 1.2.1

        He is a useful idiot:

        Useful idiot

        In political jargon, useful idiot is a pejorative term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.

        The term has been used to refer to Soviet sympathizers in Western countries. The implication was that, although the people in question naïvely thought of themselves as an ally of the Soviet Union, they were actually held in contempt and were being cynically used. The use of the term in political discourse has since been extended to other propagandists, especially those who are seen to unwittingly support a malignant cause which they naïvely believe to be a force for good.[1]

        • Paul 1.2.1.1

          There’s no shortage of useful idiots around to do the banksters business.
          Here’s another one. ..Stephen Berry, who has set up the new affordable council group and who prominently displays Ayn Rand on his website.

          • kiwicommie 1.2.1.1.1

            I recommend you read Ayn Rand’s Anthem, it is short, yet it pretty much includes all the neo-liberal crap spouted all the time. Objectivism has already been debunked by plenty of academics, it has a cult following though; and it can be very easy to fall under her spell, if you don’t read other philosophers and economists that disagree with her narrow world view. Her condemnation of altruism is outright bizarre, especially considering what we now know about human genetics and human nature i.e. altruism is genetic and part of human nature, you can’t just switch off irrational desires and instincts, or be ‘be rational’ all the time.

            • Ugly Truth 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Human nature isn’t much to look up to. Cicero’s homo humanus was a simple division between Romans and non-Roman “barbarians”. Of coure Rome could be just as barbaric as any other group. What really set them apart was Rome’s emporer-pontiff, a supposedly divine or semi-divine figure to rule over them.

  2. tc 2

    The gloves are off now it’s go for broke from shonkey and his cabinet dealing room of corrupt cohorts…..bend over NZ it’s time for your second term dose.

  3. Populuxe1 3

    Authoritarian? Yes. Dorky? Certainly. Undesirable? Very much so. Fascist? No, or at least the fluffiest, lightest Fascism Lite I’ve ever heard about.

    “Given the very unlikely odds of a terrorist plot in New Zealand…”
    Aside from Neil Roberts trying to blow up the Whanganui police computer in 1982, and the blowing up of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 (yes, I know, France, but it would have been nice to have picked up on them in theheart of Greenpeace). Pretty sure many countries never expected some of their own Muslim citizens to radicalise. But basically the terrorism angle is a red herring because you’re ignoring the near certainty we have New Zealand citizens reporting to intelligence agencies in China, North Korea, Israel, and elsewhere.

    In principle I agree with you up to a point, but the way you frame the argument is disingenious and somewhat hysterical. Of course there will be internal threats, it’s downright stupid to suggest otherwise. It suffices to say that regardless, the liberty and privacy of New Zealand citizens should not be impinged on without good cause, and the police in most cases can manage that on their own.

    • Clockie 3.1

      “It suffices to say that regardless, the liberty and privacy of New Zealand citizens should not be impinged on without good cause, and the police in most cases can manage that on their own.”

      Did you mean to say that the police can manage on their own to infringe on the liberty and privacy of NZ citizens or was that a Freudian slip? 🙂

      • North 3.1.1

        Lovely spotting there Clockie !

      • Populuxe1 3.1.2

        It was a very dry and subtle drollery – though of course the powers of the police are sufficient in most instances without involving the GCSB.

  4. freedom 4

    why do those demanding secrecy, scream the loudest against privacy ?

    • Populuxe1 4.1

      To be absolutely realistic, though, where is it enshrined that privacy is a human right? Perhaps it should be.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        In the freedoms of speech, religion and association, to name three. Might not feel able to do those if a stranger is watching 24/7.

        • Populuxe1 4.1.1.1

          Tacit, perhaps, but not implicit

          • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1

            I’d say that privacy is to those rights listed in e.g. the BoRA or UN Declaration as breathing is to life.

            • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I didn’t think you were a fan of the Freedom to Associate, McFlock. I remember having a long discussion with you wherein you were quite put out about voluntary union membership.

              • ghostrider888

                ‘totalitarian’ is todays word; brought to you by the fearful everywhere. 😀 (oh, and OAK).

              • Colonial Viper

                wherein you were quite put out about voluntary union membership.

                No problem whatsoever if workers have a range of choices of which employers they can choose to work for.

                • TheContrarian

                  I have never joined a union and enjoy being able to choose to join or not as the case may be.

                  • McFlock

                    That’s nice.

                    I’d like to not associate with people who will take the benefits of union membership without paying or working for them. Sadly, I don’t have that freedom.

                    Feel free to leave me a message at open mike if you want to continue that debate.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Na, that debate went for 3 days which I reckon is long enough

                      (not that there is much to debate. You either want to uphold the Bill of Rights or not)

                    • McFlock

                      Lol

          • Frank Macskasy 4.1.1.1.2

            Are we at a stage where it needs to be spelled out?!

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Text of the Reichstag Fire Decree as approved by Hitler; the issue of this decree can be seen as the death of democracy in Germany prior to WWII:

    On the basis of Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence:

    § 1. Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

  6. TheContrarian 6

    NZ is not even close to being fascist.

    • Kevin Welsh 6.1

      I have a picture on my computer of a long column of Star Wars Stormtroopers marching down a city street with people watching from either side.The caption says: “Fascism, you really think it will be this obvious?”

      I like to look at it regularly to remind myself how easily the population can be manipulated through the media.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.1

        It was pretty fucking obvious to those European Jews who managed to flee to the States.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          A lot of those were people of means who had contacts high up in German government or business and received early warnings of what was happening.

          Most people chose to disbelieve the rumours they heard. You know, as conspiracy theories.

          • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1.1

            I suggest you read Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia – it give an reasonable overview about who knew what and when. From there you can go to various German and Austrian authors of the time. Victor Klemperer’s diaries are quite good. Some believed it. Some didn’t. It was, however, out in the air and people were talking about it.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.2

          Not the ones who voted for hit1er.

    • September 6.2

      No crying when the authorities bust into your home and harass you for looking “suspect”. Oh wait..

      • Populuxe1 6.2.1

        No crying if you end up at gunpoint in a home invasion while someone rifles through your valuables and threatens to rape the wife and kids… Oh wait….

        • Murray Olsen 6.2.1.1

          What on earth does that have to do with giving arbitrary powers to the security agencies?

          • McFlock 6.2.1.1.1

            Mission creep already – from terrorism that has killed a couple of people in forty years to recording audio from everyone’s phones just in case they’re being home-invaded right now.

            As if every other power given to police and security services hasn’t been stretched to (and sometimes beyond, as recent reports show) breaking point.

            If you have nothing to hide, all you have to fear is a desktop investigator whose performance evaluation depends on investigative “results”.

        • September 6.2.1.2

          Sorry, inappropriate inside joke. Can i get you a tissue? oh wait…

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.3

          Yes, Pop, because violence is much less common in totalitarian surveillance states, isn’t it! No, wait…

          • Populuxe1 6.2.1.3.1

            Not less common, but certainly more organised. WHat’s teh crime rate in Singapore again?

            • McFlock 6.2.1.3.1.1

              Including homosexual acts?

            • KJT 6.2.1.3.1.2

              Like Queensland in the Peterson days.

              The locals used to joke that the crime rate was low, because all the crims were in the police force. 🙂

    • Populuxe1 6.3

      I can only regard this entire post as some sort recursive Godwin’s Law loop that like a quantum wormhole closes before it has even opened.

      • muzza 6.3.1

        Pop were you trying to make up for the *Godwin own goal* you managed to score, which CV picked you up on a few days back?

        Go get that rifle you talked so big about, use it to defend yourself….but not until after you have had all the shots (all of them), and a voluntary cavity search from the GCSB, actually make it a double!

        Don’t be scared of the player, be scared of the game, and its controllers

        • Populuxe1 6.3.1.1

          Being scared of bogeymen is likely to result in arrested emotional development

          • ghostrider888 6.3.1.1.1

            “a national security state…is however exactly what New Zealand needs”.??? Now, you Could make this sh*t up!

      • @ Populuxel – “Godwin’s Law ” does not mean we should ignore the entire first half of the 20th Century.

    • felix 6.4

      “NZ is not even close to being fascist.”

      Curious response to a post that said nothing of the sort.

      • TheContrarian 6.4.1

        I was drunk. Didn’t read it properly.

        • September 6.4.1.1

          Must be your default setting.

          • TheContrarian 6.4.1.1.1

            Well, I do enjoy a snifter of port in the evenings.

            • Colonial Viper 6.4.1.1.1.1

              In that case, my evening started at 4pm.

              edit – with just a dram of Chivas Regal…

            • felix 6.4.1.1.1.2

              So do I. Although by “evening” I mean “morning”, by “snifter” I mean “huge pile” and by “port” I mean “heroin”.

    • prism 6.5

      How close before we can measure it Contrarian – and what are the signs we should look for?

    • Ever lived in a Police state, Contrarian?

  7. You will find that the vital ingredient for fascism is missing in NZ, that is a rampant working class capable of taking power. Fascism arose in Europe to stop the Bolshevik revolution spreading throughout Europe. Fascism is the last resort of the ruling class to keep hold of power. Its purpose is to smash the working class physically by mobilising fascist gangs in the ruined middle class and lumpen elements of the working class to attack workers organisations and their neighbourhoods. All the other stuff accompanying it, is such as abolition of legal rights, wars etc are not specific to fascism as such. NZ has some way to go before the ruling class is forced to resort to open fascist measures. That’s not to say the potential is not here when the conditions are right.

    • Murray Olsen 7.1

      It also doesn’t hurt to know the people who would be promoting it and smoothing the way for it. The jackbooted thugs of Nazi Germany didn’t suddenly develop their full blown thuggish instincts the day after the Reichstag burned down.
      What you say also doesn’t mean that some pretty nasty stuff can’t happen anyway, and should be fought against, without meeting the historical standards of fascism as they applied in Europe. I actually see the closest our regime getting to this as being in its attitude to anti-drilling and mining protestors. An organised socialist/environmental movement which stops them from destroying the planet in a futile attempt to prop up their failed system also gets them slightly annoyed.

    • muzza 7.2

      Too much old schoold thinking happening there, RR.

      These days the jack boot thugs, hide behind technology, various industry/fields!

      The world is controlled primarily by the following

      1: Finance/Banking
      2: Military Industrial Complex/Intelligence Services

      Those two alone, but primarily #1 cover off the branches which rely on the funding, to propagate the fasci*m, you feel does not exist in little old NZ – Control the funding/monetary flows, control the world

      Its a global game, NZ does not sit outside the perimeter of the tenticles that dominate all facets of current day life, and has been part of the *grid* for decades already!

      In short the ingredient you refer exists, its just that people have been conditioned not to understand the danger!

      • red rattler 7.2.1

        @ Muzza, you describe fascism as state monopoly capitalism that has been around since at least WW1. By definition finance capital is a fusion of finance and the state. Fascism is a creature of State Monopoly Capitalism but is not reduced to it. It is a political/social movement of the streets in which the state having lost its legitimacy is forced to mobilise petty bourgeois and lumpen street fighters directly to smash the workers movement. It usually only appears when the ruling class has lost legitimacy and parliament, laws, police, army (split between ranks and officers) can no longer maintain social order.

        @Murray, I agree that proto-fascist forces exist wherever there is a capitalist crisis. But before it becomes a full blown movement, the capitalist regime must exhaust all democratic, parliamentary and legal means of controlling the workers movement. In fact I would say that it is because the workers movement in a crisis will fight to the point of overthrowing the capitalist state, that fascism is inevitable in the global crisis we face. I agree with you that this crisis combines economic destruction with ecological collapse and will lead to a showdown. And just as it means the capitalist must shift gear to mobilise street fighters to smash the most militant workers, it also means that workers have to prepare and organise to smash them first.

  8. Jenny 8

    Fight creeping fascism.

    Senior police praise the officer who planting evidence against Arthur Allen Thomas.
    The force covered up for Rickard and and his rapist mates for years.
    The police force still refuse to reveal the identify of the officers who beat the clowns in 1981, to avoid them being charged.

    Law breaking by the GCSB is legalised.

    Faceless armed thugs detain innocent citizens at gun point.

    Law breaking by the police is ignored.

    Anti protest laws are rushed through parliament.

    Unfortunately for our democracy, the traffic has all been one way. Leading into a dead end street with no easy way of return.

    • A tax embargo and common law courts.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1

        What a practical suggestion. You first.

        • Ugly Truth 8.1.1.1

          The common law court was called the hundred, but there were also courts of twenty of fifty. The purpose of the court was to resolve conflict. The role of truth was central to the process, unlike civil courts which can make extensive use of legal fictions.

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oath%20helper

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1.1.1

            🙄

            Why don’t you leave the legal advice to people who know what the fuck they’re talking about?

            • Ugly Truth 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Why don’t you go drink a tall glass of STFU, One Anonymous Knuckledragger?

              Here’s the last of the argument from kiwiblog:

              AG: The etymology you provide perfectly encapsulates the way the term is used in public law parlance.

              UT: No, affability/kindness doesn’t describe an implicit bargain, and it doesn’t describe the indulgence of unlawful behaviour between those who are supposed to administer justice and those who are supposed to represent the interests of the body politic.

              Here’s the etymology that I provided:
              comity (n.)
              early 15c., “association,” from French comité, from Latin comitas “courtesy, friendliness, kindness, affability,” from comis “courteous, friendly, kind,” of uncertain origin. Meaning “courtesy” in English is from 1540s. Phrase comity of nations attested from 1862: “The obligation recognized by civilized nations to respect each other’s laws and usages as far as their separate interests allow.”

              Comitas I kom:ld:ls I . Lat. Courtesy; civility; comity. An indulgence or favor granted another nation, as a mere matter of indulgence, without any claim of right made. Comitas inter communitates; or comitas inter gentes; comity between communities or nations; comity of nations.

              And here’s his original description:
              “Our constitutional arrangements work on an implicit bargain – the principle of comity – that the Courts and Parliament don’t mess with each other’s turf. I think that bargain just got broken.”

              http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/05/geddis_cries_foul.html#comment-1145022

  9. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9

    Isn’t throwing around the F-bomb a bit undergradical?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Government powers should be exercised as transparently as possible and with a high degree of judicial oversight. Any time Government steps away in the opposite direction to that should ring alarm bells.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.2

      Devalued by overuse it nonetheless has a definition. Do Lim’s proposals meet that definition? I tend to think they’re more totalitarian than fascist, but it’s a fine line.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    I don’t want to be picky, but having a picture of foot crushing fascism would be more convincing and less ironic if the shoe wasn’t clearly an uber-hip converse sneaker.

  11. Pete 11

    Fascist state? No. Feijoa republic? Maybe.

  12. New Zealand is just a small part of this globalized plutocratic economy:

    The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they’re using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. Example: Goldman Sachs, which gave more money than any other major American corporation to Barack Obama in 2008, is switching alliances this year; their employees have given $900,000 both to Mitt Romney’s campaign and to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Why? Because, says the Wall Street Journal, the Goldman Sachs gang felt betrayed by President Obama’s modest attempts at financial reform.

    Moyers & Company Show 141:Plutocracy Rising

  13. vto 13

    What are the benefits of fascism?

    • The “benefits” of fascism? Oh, heaps – the ‘benefits’ are to die for.

    • kiwicommie 13.2

      A fusion of state and corporate power i.e. businesses and government have a close relationship, those that disagree with the status quo can be rounded up and imprisoned, little political freedom for those without wealth and political influence in the oligarchy.

  14. Getting back on topic… it’s a shame I couldn’t have taken Mr Lim back to my parent’s homeland in Eastern Europe, pre-1989. I could’ve shown him what it’s like to live in a country that was heavily surveilled; ID booklets (not cards – booklets – like our old driver’s licenses); and police stations were guarded 24/7 by armed police at the main door. Where political jokes were common (and bloody good ones!) – but you had to be careful who was listening.

    Where a cop could bail you up for any reason, any time…

    Oh, wait…

    As for whether we’re a fascist state yet?

    My view is it’s not simply what the government does – it’s the fear that it generates in the populace (or a section of it) that defines how autocratic/authoritarian a government is.

    Maybe we’re not a full-fledged, boot-stomping, Big Brother Watching police state just yet.

    But by god, some of what I’m witnessing is scarily familiar.

    And what’s truly frightening is that so many New Zealanders think it’s all ok…

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