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This Website Kills Fascism!

If after viewing this website you are experiencing confusion, self-doubt, loss of purpose, perhaps emasculation, and a crisis of identity, you may have been infected with Fascism. Fascism is a relentlessly parasitic idea ultimately leading to a loss of all values, meaningful and healthy relationships, reasonable thought processes and, if unaddressed, loss of personal freedom, dignity and possibly your life.

Freeing Your Mind is Dangerous

A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly by the chain of their own ideas… on the soft fibers of the brain is founded the unshakable base of the soundest of Empires.

Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

This website is associated with the Mad Sociologist Blog.

Underlying Philosophy

Knowledge is Freedom

Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we’ll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind

Jerome Lawrence: Inherit the Wind

Tyranny thrives on ignorance

Framework for Understanding Democratic vs. Authoritarian Knowledge

Knowledge Filters

All knowledge is filtered, regardless of the nature of the society. Knowledge must be evaluated according to certain criteria if it is to be incorporated into the social story that becomes the foundation of our identities as individuals and people bound together with a common consciousness.

Democratic Filters

Democratic filters are premised on Enlightenment and Humanistic standards. Democratic knowledge satisfies tests of validity, reliability, logical process, and moral consistency. Democratic filters include broad framing from multiple perspectives.

Authoritarian Filters

Authoritarian filters are premised on the needs of the dominant group or individual. They are tested based on whether they come from acceptable sources (authorities). They are intended to build group solidarity around the accepted authority. Authoritarians prefer narrow framing centered on The Authority. Any knowledge, regardless of validity, that may be critical of or challenges the centrality of The Authority is considered Dangerous Knowledge that must be abolished.

Knowledge Construction

Knowledge is constructed through social processes that include a complex dance between individuals, social groups, and institutions. Institutions, because of their ability to reach and influence large numbers of individuals have a central role in constructing knowledge for a larger society. The more hierarchical the institution, the more authoritarian the knowledge construction–the less democratic.

Democratic Knowledge Construction

Democratic knowledge is constructed in non-directed ways. In other words, there is no central authority responsible for “right” knowledge. Nobody owns the knowledge for themselves. Democratic knowledge exists for its own sake and is a common resource for all. It must, by necessity, be flexible, inclusive, reflexive, and empathetic.

Authoritarian Knowledge Construction

Authoritarian knowledge is directed–that is, it is created by an authority or by sources acceptable to The Authority for the purposes of The Authority. It is constructed to place The Authority in the center of the social story. Authoritarian knowledge is privileged, the domain of a select group of knowledgeable people who disseminate the “real” knowledge to those pure enough to accept it. This can be almost addictive as those who embrace authoritarian knowledge often feel that they are privy to higher knowledge and that possessing this knowledge makes them closer to the authority they love and admire.

Knowledge and Social Stories

Knowledge is the foundational element of the social stories that shape who we are as individuals. This knowledge may be pragmatic or romantic, real or mythical, historical or speculative. All forms of knowledge are incorporated into social stories that drive social action and individual behavior. Like any story, social stories have themes that become the underlying values we hold.

Democratic Themes

Democratic themes emphasize connectedness and commonalities in the face of individual differences. They are evaluated reflexively by individuals who are willing and able to challenge, criticize and innovate the themes according to collective and individual human needs. Democratic stories emphasize higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and creativity) and are open to nuance. Democratic storytellers must prove the value of their stories to the audience.

Authoritarian Themes

Authoritarian themes emphasize passivity. The audience is expected to accept without question the superiority of The Authority. By doing so, the audience understands that it is, by association, better than “those people” who do not embrace the accepted story or are not recognized as accepted participants in the story. This is called a “Those People Paradigm” and is central to an authoritarian story. Authoritarian themes emphasize cognitive understanding and application to the goals of the power group. With authoritarian stories, the audience must prove to the storyteller that they embrace the story without question or reservation and are therefore worthy of acceptance.

On Killing Fascism

Mission

The Problem

A movement, born from paranoia and inspired by fascism, has organized into a significant and potent political bloc. This bloc legitimizes and empowers anti-democratic leaders to push regressive and repressive legislation, much of which is dedicated to banning and erasing critical knowledge from public discourse. As such, institutions dedicated to knowledge, like schools, colleges, universities, libraries, etc, are natural targets for censorious legislation, policies and policing.

A Solution

This site is intended as a repository for knowledge deemed “dangerous” by American fascists, anti-liberal and anti-democratic movements. In the event that such knowledge is banned, censored, or subject to erasure through legislation and policy (as in Florida) and/or through public bullying and intimidation, this site will provide resources through which teachers, students, and concerned citizens can access this knowledge as well as materials for inspiring discussion and pedagogy.

Help Me Kill Fascism

This page is not supported by a well funded organization. It’s just me, a concerned teacher, citizen, and human being doing the best I can to put a dent in a looming, regressive dreadnaught. I could use some help. If you have commentary for the blog, or educational materials that you are willing to share, or ideas for pages and Dangerous Knowledge courses, please send them to me.

Subversive Teaching

We don’t need new curriculum materials that help us “teach with integrity” while at the same time obeying a wicked law. We need avenues by which we can disobey and subvert the law.