Posts Tagged ‘fascism’

The Rise of Virtual Shirt Movements

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

In a 2010 post, I wrote about the history of “shirt movements” like the Blackshirts and the Brownshirts, and how these violent thugs drove more moderate associations and leaders from the public square in the 1920s, 30s, and thereafter, allowing Fascist and other totalitarian movements to take power.

Thanks to Twitter and other social media, it is now possible to mount a virtual shirt movement of hundreds of thousands of participants (but usually a much smaller, but very vocal group) to marginalize individuals and one’s political or social opposition.

Since this virtual shirt movement phenomenon is still immature, many individuals are shaken when seemingly thousands of persons virtually gang up on them. However, as this phenomenon does mature and become better understood, we may see a situation in which only virtual reactions involving one million or more participants will be taken seriously, and only if they sustain themselves over time. Universities are especially susceptible to relatively small virtual shirt movements.

Right now, virtual shirt movements seem very powerful. This power may degrade as it is better understood, and as information countermeasures are established.

A virtual shirt movement may seem “fierce,” but these “virtually fierce” ones eventually can be virtually discredited and even ignored as their manipulative efforts are themselves revealed and better understood.

But if virtual shirt movements are taken too seriously and are allowed to succeed, we will see the makings of a new virtual fascism or totalitarianism. One sure harbinger of Fascism is a group of thugs who drive their opposition from the public square, virtually or otherwise.

© Copyright 2016, Albert J. Schorsch, III
All Rights Reserved

The views posted at are those of Albert J. Schorsch, III, alone, and not those of any of his employers, past or present.


Aphorism XXIII: Our Age of Displaced Concreteness

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

We live in an age of displaced concreteness, in which words that are assigned power, usually pertaining to the past, displace our consciousness of and engagement with significant, living human suffering in the present.

I call this phenomenon displaced instead of misplaced concreteness because our own pride pushes concreteness aside for the sake of comfortable illusion.

Our age fawns on self-styled language shills instead of scientists and historians. It honors those who radicalize words instead of those who patiently seek truths. It highlights those who heat the medium of communication, instead of those who illuminate it. It takes all too seriously those who stake out new meanings for old words in order to manipulate and distort. It idolizes the famous for simply being famous, and ignores untold acts of kindness and of nurturing. It worships those who wound and alienate, instead of honoring and imitating those who heal.

For the sake of self-indulgence, we perpetuate disease. We seek to cure the sicknesses that represent constituencies and power blocks, rather than advancing the health of all through clean hydration and sanitation, beneficial nutrition, adequate exercise, and exclusive intimate relationships.

We continue to encourage the illusion that politics resolves poverty and ignorance, while passing over basic acts of committed parental love, such as prenatal care, breastfeeding, and reading daily to little children.

We argue about reparations for slavery from the past, but do not effectively intervene against present slavery and human trafficking that is on a quantum scale more massive.

We daily dissect a few hundred child abuse cases of the past, but do basically nothing comprehensive or systematic about halting the tens of thousands of child abuse cases that each new year brings.

We call those with whom we casually disagree fascists, yet we continue to collectively trade with and empower dictators as vicious as any in history.

Ours is an age of pride, that cannot countenance the overpowering meaning of suffering, so we attempt to talk it out of existence.

Ours is an unjust and cowardly age, an age of manufactured identity, and not one of revealed mercy made plain by Divine grace, by tested knowledge, and by courageous action.

© Copyright 2010, Albert J. Schorsch, III
All Rights Reserved