It Takes a Village to Raise a Dictator

I am hearing fears of fascism, in relation to the election of Tronald Dump. (Don’t you love a good spoonerism? Me, too!) Some seem to believe that he can destroy (what’s left of) our liberty all by himself. But: Fascism requires foot soldiers. Like, lots of them. Where will they come from? Will President Dump hire Russian mercenaries? Start a cloning program (as the South does in The Fifth Sacred Thing) to produce androids without family or empathy? Not likely. Chances are, if he wants to assume dictatorial powers, he’ll need to rely on millions of reg’lar ’muricans. People just like – I mean, not at all like – you and me.

In The Dandelion Insurrection (which I’ve mentioned before), a network of Oath Guardians emerges, in opposition to a government that is obviously rotting from the inside. “An Oath Guardian,” one character explains to the hero and heroine, “is a soldier, a cop, or any other security officer who refuses to enforce unconstitutional laws. They took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and they aren’t about to let scumbag politicians use them as pawns in their power games. Not against their own people.” And so, when the frackers come to town, some of those deployed to protect them secretly side with the locals who want the extractors gone. Plus, the locals temporarily close their businesses, so the frackers and their ilk will have nowhere to lodge, buy food, get gas. The moral of the story? It takes a village to raise a dictator. Fascism can only take hold if we the people choose to collaborate.

Which brings me to the commons. Why might we choose collaboration? What is the most common excuse ever for doing shitty, abusive things? “Just doin’ my job, ma’am.” “I gotta make a living.”

Okay, and why do we need jobs? Why do we make this thing called a “living”? Because air, water, soil, food, fun, learning, shelter, travel, etc., have all been monetized. You wanna eat? You need money. You want a roof over your head? You need money. You want to get from A to B? You need money. And so, I would say, if you want to head off fascism, shrink the reach of money. De-monetize. You cannot use money to coerce the service of a human who does not need money to survive.

If you liked this post, you’ll love my memoir, Mating in Captivity, in which my twenty-two-year old self enters a cult with a radical take on sex and relationships. Learn more here.

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