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NEW! Welcome to the Era of Rising Democratic Fascism: Trump, Putin, Europe, and the Assault on Western Democracy and the International Order
- February 2017
Fascism comes in many forms; if Hitler and genocide can be one end of the spectrum, there’s plenty of room for fascism that falls far short of that standard, eschewing pogroms and other forms of mass violence, forms of fascism that include what we are seeing now: a democratic fascism (small “d” referring to democracy in general, as opposed to a capital “D” associated with America’s Democratic Party) empowered by populations, media, and elections that rewards and empowers those willing to feed off division and fear as it overwhelms norms, dissenting minorities, and even the law. As this democratic fascism rises, the losers are the liberal democratic governments that have been dominant since the end of WWII; in effect, it is no longer a question of if, but how fast we will see the unraveling of the post-WWII U.S.-led international order. What we do now will define the West and the world for decades to come, but the growing far left must grow up quickly and act within the clear choices of present reality if we are to have a good chance of stopping democratic fascism from destroying our societies, the West, and the international order as we know it. First, this pamphlet will define the terms democracy, fascism, and democratic fascism so as to effectively set up a larger discussion of the present and the risk it poses for the future, whether Trumpism in America or other forms of democratic fascism spreading their tentacles in democracies throughout democracies in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.
This edition includes a Preface and an Afterword, both previously unpublished.
Needless Deaths, Inexcusable Resposes: Missives on Guns, Policy, and Politics in America
- December 2015
From Columbine to Sandy Hook to San Bernardino, mass shootings are an epidemic unique to America among developed/Western nations in their frequency. But the level of "normal" gun violence in America is also far higher than virtually any other developed/Western nation as well. In this short yet useful and data-driven exploration of the intersection between guns, policy, and politics in America, historian and policy/political expert Brian Frydenborg presents a series of discussions from a range of his work (including one article never before published) arranged by different themes to bring his readers up to speed on the crucial public policy and political issue of guns in America.
Going over the history, American exceptionalism, numbers, mentalities, and, building on all of these, possible solutions regarding the problems with guns in America, Frydenborg takes his readers on a journey beginning with a historical, contextual understanding of the Second Amendment as America’s Founding generation would have understood and lived it, going back over a millennium into a sacred, constant tradition of English history dating back to the withdrawal of the Roman Empire, but lasting up to and through the American Revolution. Next, a brief yet sound data-driven analysis is presented explaining why America is so exceptional when it comes to gun violence. Then, an exploration of data on how gun violence is carried out in America, by whom and to whom and where, helps establish that the problems surrounding gun violence are hardly insurmountable. Next up, he discusses the absurdity of the mentality of Americans when it comes to gun violence, comparing the policy responses to gun violence and terrorism and noting that terrorism kills far fewer Americans each year, even taking into account 9/11 and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also embarks upon a surprising but eye-opening comparison between African-Americans and Palestinians. Finally, taking all of this into account, Frydenborg makes a clear and compelling case about the policy directions America needs to take as far as reducing gun violence.
Anyone seeking to understand the tragedy of gun violence in America would do well to consider Brian Frydenborg’s thoughtful, data driven, and conveniently thematically organized pieces on this urgent policy and political topic, especially as people consider who they will support in the presidential and other political races of 2016. The lives—or deaths—of thousands depend on the policy choices these leaders will make.
The Israel-Hamas Gaza Poker Game of Death:
High-Stakes, Human Chips, No Winner
- August 2014
Both sides deserve a lot of blame in this ugly conflict, but the contributions of Israel’s structural violence should not be eclipsed by Hamas’ physical violence; both must be given full treatment in any discussion of this conflict. The following pamphlet will attempt to demonstrate this reality, and is pound-for-pound the most thorough, complete, and well-cited short treatise on the Israel-Gaza conflict available.
Much of the media's coverage lacks context, and this pamphlet attempts to rectify that for the reader. By looking at the longer-term context, assessing the violence of the parties, and looking at the shorter-term context, the reader will understand the troubled history between Israel and Gaza, what is wrong with the current violence, and how and why this latest round of fighting erupted. Only then will it be possible to assess where to place responsibility in this conflict and to engage in productive exploration and meaningful discussions regarding one of the most pressing and intractable issues of our times.
The Ancient Roman Legal and Political Legacy in the Founding of America
(single chapter from my book project turned standalone piece, see details by clicking on the
Book Project tab at the top of the page)
- August 2012
Contrary to popular belief, America did not invent the concepts of political freedom or of divided, republican, and democratic government, and these concepts, as well as America's Constitution, were not primarily derived from English tradition or the British constitutional monarchy. A deeper look reveals ancient Rome as the primary legal and political influence on America's founding. After exploring ancient Roman influence on the English colonies (and Dutch colony, before New Amsterdam became New York) in the New World, the deeper Roman legal influences on English common law (and thus the colonies) will be examined throughout the whole of English history until the American Revolution, and then the progression of Roman republican thought from its rebirth in the Renaissance, beginning with Machiavelli, to its eventual triumph in America's founding, especially in the creation of the United States Constitution, will be discussed. In conclusion, it will be reasserted that in this scholarly-researched pamphlet that, after tracing the strains of legal and political influence from ancient Rome to the founding of the republic of United States of America, Rome, indeed, deserves to be recognized as the primary legal and political influence on America's founding.
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