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When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and smiley shirts. Smiley-smiley. – George Carlin
George Carlin died 15 years ago, in 2008. He first made this statement in one of his 1990s nightclub acts. Yet if anything best describes the soft fascism that has emerged since 2020, this statement does. Right down to Nike endorsement of modern fascism as typified by the behavior of Colin Kaepernick.
In many ways Carlin’s statement echoes the theme of Tucker Carlson’s episode 2, which dropped on Thursday:
Ep. 2 Cling to your taboos! pic.twitter.com/45AeVdtwOu
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) June 8, 2023
(Incidentally, if you want an example of smiley-smiley fascism, try searching for this on YouTube. Good luck.)
Yes, the jackboots are now coming out as are the black shirts of black bloc protestors, but those are trailing edge phenomena. Fascism gained purchase through safe spaces and trigger warnings. It was normalized during Covid using soft fascism. It has grown harder once the soft fascism became accepted. The next few years will be interesting. In the same sense that Randall Garrett’s pseudo-Chinese curse (May you live in interesting times) means interesting.
Good luck, everybody.Published in