Today is the first day of the fall semester for me as a college professor and as a graduate student. I thought I’d share a passage from one of the readings I completed prior to tonight’s first class at Ball State:
“One reason Fascism has a chance is that it in the name of progress its opponents treat it as a historical norm.”
This is from Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) and was published posthumously in 1942 in his acclaimed book Theses on the Philosophy of History.
I cannot be sure as of this moment, but my assumption is that this line will get attention during our first discussion this evening. Benjamin’s book was from about 80 years ago in the midst of Hitler’s reign in Germany.
Over the past few years in America, White Nationalists and a group known as “Antifa” have found headlines, which can rationally result in their separate agendas receiving attention and potential recruitment.
The fear then (and now) is that these extremist belief systems will become so ingrained in the minds of citizens that any attempt to stifle, demonize, or completely quash those historically cruel and inhumane perspectives will diminish, which would allow for them to enjoy another cycle of popularity with just enough individuals to cause real harm to others. This would ultimately unravel the decades of effort put forth by countless empathetic individuals who have devoted their lives to instill strong morals in each new generation.