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Showing posts with the label Politics

Who Voted for the Nazis? - The Nazi Electorate and the Collapse of Weimar Germany's Parliamentary System

In the elections of May 20, 1928, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP) led by Adolf Hitler received 2.6 percent of the vote, obtaining 12 seats in Germany's parliament. The NSDAP appeared to be nothing but a tiny fringe party with an extremist ideology and very little prospect of playing a major role in German politics. But only four years later, in the elections of 31 July, 1932, the NSDAP received a staggering 37.4 percent of the vote, becoming by far the largest party in parliament with 230 seats.   Hitler saluting stormtroopers at a parade in Weimar, 1930. Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10541 / Georg Pahl / CC-BY-SA 3.0 Who were the people who turned their back on the German Republic and voted for a party that campaigned on the promise of doing away with democracy altogether? Why did the NSDAP manage to do what other parties could not: build a broad coalition that included different segments of the upper, middle and workin

Hong Kong Photographer Convicted of Insulting China's National Anthem

A Hong Kong photographer has been convicted of insulting the national anthem of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and faces up to three years in prison. The 27-year-old Cheng Wing-chun (鄭榮進) appeared before Magistrate Minnie Wat Lai Man at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday (July 5). He was found guilty of insulting the PRC national anthem "March of the Volunteers" after he replaced it with the protest song "Glory to Hong Kong" in a video he uploaded online. Baycrest - Wikipedia user - CC-BY-SA-2.5 He is the first person to be convicted under the National Anthem Ordinance . Enacted in June 2020, the law makes “insulting” or “misusing” the PRC national anthem punishable by a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,400) and a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment. Cheng was prosecuted after he allegedly created and uploaded a video of Hong Kong fencer Edgar Cheung winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021, with the protest song "Glor

"We Want Our Country Back" — Greek Far Right Party "Spartiates" Enters Parliament

On June 25, Greece ’s centre-right party New Democracy (ND) won the country's legislative elections in a landslide, propelling incumbent Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to a second term. ND garnered over 40% of the vote and 158 seats in parliament, while the major opposition party, left-wing Syriza, only received 17% of the vote and 48 seats. The third and fourth largest parties were, respectively, the centre-left Pasok and the far left Communist Party. But what surprised observers was the performance of three far right parties, which received about 12% of the popular vote combined. The largest of them was the " Spartiates " (Spartans), which received 4.63% of the vote and 12 seats, followed by the anti-vax, Orthodox Christian nationalist Party "Niki" (Victory), and the far right Elliniki Lysi (Greek Solution). Spartiates logo, via Wikimedia Commons   The Spartiates are a far right, ethnonationalist party backed by the neo-fascist politician Ilias Kasidiaris

Jamie Dimon Loves Florida

Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, loves Florida.  In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Dimon was asked about the political situation in Florida and its impact on business. The billionaire businessman brushed all concerns aside.  "We love Florida, we’re growing in Florida left and right," he said.  Under its far right Republican leadership, Florida's government has launched an assault on "leftist ideology" . It has stripped Disney of its self-governing district in retaliation for the company's criticism of the "Don't say gay" bill. Instead of fighting back, the mighty corporation has surrendered to the state authorities' bullying tactics.  Recently, Florida's Republican Senator Jason Brodeur introduced a bill that would require bloggers to register with the state government and file periodic reports with the state if they are paid to write posts about the state’s governor, lieutenant governor, cab

The Strange Alliance Between the American Far Right and Chinese Anti-Communists

In my previous post I wrote about far right activist Xi Van Fleet (弗里特), whose crusade against critical race theory has been covered by media outlets such as the Washington Examiner and "Fox News". Born in the People's Republic of China (PRC), she experienced Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and fled to the United States at the age of 26. In the summer of 2021, Fox reported on Xi Van Fleet's tirade against critical race theory at a Loudoun County School Board meeting.  "I’ve been very alarmed by what’s going on in our schools," she said.  "You are now teaching, training our children to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history ... The Communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people ... The only difference is they used class instead of race ... This is indeed the American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution ... The critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our

Far Right Activist Xi Van Fleet Calls Critical Race Theory "the American version of the Cultural Revolution"

Disclaimer: this article contains links to right-wing websites used as sources _____ A victim of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution has sided with the American far right in its crusade against critical race theory and attempts to "rewrite" US history.  Xi Van Fleet ( Chinese name : 弗里特, pinyin: Fú Lǐtè) is a Chinese-American who grew up in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and experienced the turbulent years of Communist dictator Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). At the age of 26 she moved to the United States.  "I know very, very well what happened during the Cultural Revolution," Xi Van Fleet told the Washington Examiner. "They rewrote history, and then they fed us, the young people, the fictional history, for the indoctrination for control [of] mind." On February 26, Xi Van Fleet draw renewed attention from far right circles when she sparred with 1619 Project [¹] creator Nikole Hannah-Jones on Twitter.  "In Mao's C

Far Right Congressman Scott Perry Says Leftists "Gotta Be Quaking in Fear", Denounces "Globalization" During CPAC Interview

During an interview at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) , far right Congressman Scott Perry spread conspiracy theories about a "Marxist" takeover of the United States, denounced "globalization", and issued threats to the left.  A retired Pennsylvania Army National Guard Brigadier General, Perry was elected in November 2021 as chairman of the far right House Freedom Caucus. He is also a member of the Congressional Veterans Caucus and the Second Amendment Caucus.  "Their [the Democrats'] goal is actually the globalization of the United States of America, destruction of our sovereignty and so this is all intentional ... This is all by design ... We're not only in a philosophical battle, but we're also in a spiritual battle for the soul of our country, and to save this Republic," Perry said.  Scott Perry at CPAC, via NowThis News YouTube channel  _____ He then ranted about a supposed takeover of the US by "Marxis

Conservative Icon? - William F. Buckley's Opposition to Civil Rights, Immigration and Multiculturalism

On October 6, 2005, President George W. Bush hosted an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Review magazine as well as the 80th birthday of its founder, William F. Buckley Jr.   Buckley - who has often been called a conservative "icon" - was lavishly praised by the President in his remarks. "Bill Buckley did have an influence on me when I followed him at Yale," Bush said . "The interesting thing about Bill Buckley's career is he's ... obviously, not idle ... He decided to do something, and he formed a magazine that helped move conservatism from the margins of American society into the Oval Office. That's a significant contribution ... I'm sure it's hard for some of the youngsters ... to imagine the day when the only conservative game in Washington, DC, was Bill Buckley and the National Review. And today, we've got, of course, an abundance of conservative

Florida's War on 'Leftist Ideologues' Is a War on Freedom

The party which once claimed to be for small government and free markets has taken off the mask, laying bare its true intentions.  On January 17, Florida's Republican Governor and Trustees of the State Board of Administration (SBA) approved measures to "protect Florida’s investments from woke environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), ensuring that all investment decisions focus solely on maximizing the highest rate of return" (my emphasis).  " House Chamber, Florida State Capitol " by  StevenM_61  is licensed under  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 . __________

What Are Conspiracy Theories? - A Definition

Over the last several years, conspiracy theories have drawn increasing media attention. From birtherism to QAnon, from pandemic disinformation to lies about the outcome of democratic elections, conspiracy theories have been openly embraced by politicians who seek to use them to influence the electorate.  But conspiracy theories are not a recent phenomenon, and neither is their propagation by prominent individuals and organizations that are capable of shaping public discourse. In this series, I will discuss some consequential conspiracy theories, such as the "Stab in the back" conspiracy theory that spread among Germany's far-right circles after World War I, or the false claim by elements of the US far-right that the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests were masterminded by the Chinese government.  But, first of all, I will provide a definition of the term conspiracy theory in order to avoid ambiguity and confusion.  "Stop The New World Order" by Christian Cable, lic