Plan for the Evening
- Stuff in the News Related to The Rhetoric of Fear
- Highlights from Introducing American Politics (pp. 82-176)–February 7th
- Kevin Passmore’s Fascism: A Very Short Introduction (pp. 1-55 and 56-91)
- Propaganda Fun Part 1 and 2 (of 3)–start Part 1 (20-ish minutes) at 6:50pm
- Conspiracy Theories–Presentation for SEACS
- I try to put up notes for my Conference Presentations–thanks, COVID-19
As I mentioned, I’m pushing the Critical Thinking Essay back. Let’s just make sure this is the last move, and say it’s due when you return from Spring Break: March 7th. Sorry for the delay in feedback on your drafts, but I’ll explain.
The Rhetoric of Fear, Contemporary Edition
Although a history of fear appeals, fascist labeling, and big cultural scares is part of this course, we should also pause on current events–non-controversial ones, of course. Consider the rhetoric of these current events, but let’s stick to rhetoric, broadly defined, and focus on the meaning conveyed in these media:
- AOC’s fascism Accusation against “He Gets Us” Super Bowl Ad
- “AOC criticizes Christian Super Bowl ads, says Jesus would not fund commercials to ‘make fascism look benign'” (Faux News)
- “AOC attacks Jesus ‘gets us’ Super Bowl ads: ‘Makes fascism look benign'” (Independent–I dare you to read the comments…)
- “Love Your Enemies Ad”
- HeGetsUs ties to conservative, anti-LGBTQ, and pro-life causes
- Putin’s Response to American Imperialism–Pausing New START Participation
- Ever Seen the Nuclear Blast Apps?
- NukeMap (not to be confused with Nukapedia Fallout Wiki)
- Popular app…“Nuclear Bomb Simulator Used 9 Million Times Since Russia Invaded Ukraine” (Newsweek.com)
Highlights from Introducing American Politics (pp. 82-176)
After that cheery conversation, let’s discuss something benign like US politics. Before jumping over to February 7th’s page, let’s have some definitions:
- politics: consider the extended definitions from Merriam-Webster
- political philosophy: often has a definition related to government, but that’s not the entirety of the definition.
- political philosophy: this definition is perfect for our course on The Rhetoric of Fear
Kevin Passmore’s Fascism: A Very Short Introduction (pp. 1-55 and 56-91)
The notes for the first third of Passmore’s book is on February 14th’s page, and the second third’s below. Although the original reading was to p. 107, I think chapters 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10 (pp. 92-155) might be better discussed together because they’re about post-Fascist fascism…if that makes sense? It’ll probably make more sense at the end of the book. Although the “goal” is to reflect more deeply on how the term “fascism” is used rhetorically, the historical context and ways that the terms definition is constructed helps us engage that discussion. At least, I assume it does.
- p. 58: “The Nazi drive for racial purity can’t be explained by a concept that stresses similarities with Fascism.”
- pp. 58-59: “…a major purpose of the movements in question was to capture power in territorially bounded states.”
- p. 59: “…many fascists, believed,…that nation was…the primary form of social solidarity.”
- p. 59: “[Hitler] soon gained a reputation as the party’s best public speaker.”
- Premise #2: Debate and forensics programs train public speakers.
- Conclusion: Therefore, those programs are fascist.
- Perhaps there’s a fallacy we can discuss.
- p. 71: “The German and Italian regimes’ aggressive nationalism…”
- p. 72: Italian Fascists harkening back to the Roman Empire and Romanian nationalists “as the heir[s] of classical antiquity.”
- What’s the meaning behind linking with the past? It’s probably too simplistic to say it’s “just C/conservatism,” right?
- p. 73: “Fascism…represents the advent of a new elite…a mass party.”
- p. 77: Some Catholics saw Mussolini as leading the fight against atheistic communism and some intellectuals appreciated the regime’s aesthetic modernism.”
- p. 78: “The Klan…”
- p. 82: In Eastern Europe, “nationalists called for tougher measures against communists, feminists, and ethnic minorities, all in the name of national unity.”
- p. 83: “p. 82: “In Eastern Europe, as in the West, democracy often meant dictatorship of the majority, not toleration, and still less multiculturalism.”
- p. 88: “In 1932, Chaing Kai Sheck….used fascist precedents to reform the regime, but combined them with Confucian strictures concerning moral behaviour.*”
- *I’ll use the British spellings when directly quoting
- p. 90: “…for economic crisis and fear of communism were very widespread, even where actual communists were rare.”
Propaganda Fun Part 1 and Part 2
There’s a 2005 documentary that is appropriate for this class (but, perhaps, not appropriate without critique). Hopefully, I set my timer, so we can watch the first 21:45 of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West . Then, we’ll discuss it and watch the second third (about 21 minutes). The goal is to finish after Spring Break, which is next week.
I’m pushing back the due date for your Critical Thinking Essay. I’ll provide you feedback on your drafts, and the final will be due March 7th. Your Midterm Exam will be the week after that (3/14), and you’ll do it on Canvas, so we won’t meet for class that day. All reading and rhetoric of fear-related class discussions (nearly all, right?) are fair game.