Totalitarian Tactics

Government surveillance programs, Muslim registries, and deportation squads have one essential thing in common; they are the products of xenophobic fear. Although they seem like totalitarian tactics from an Orwellian novel, they are actually inching their way in to the United States’ political discussion. The President Elect Donald Trump used xenophobia to gain support for his presidential campaign. This tactic is not new, in fact, the utilization of the narrative of foreign subversive is an insidious American tradition, which was first established during the late nineteenth century, when repression of anarchism became a national priority. It has since influenced Americans to adopt a new tradition: relinquishing constitutional freedoms from …show more content…
The patterns of media manipulation and police repression which were established during Haymarket and Berkman’s assassination attempt were reinstituted in full force after the death of President McKinley. Media outlets quickly accepted that Czologsz was indeed an anarchist despite only having attended a few of Goldman’s speeches and being identified as a possible police informant by anarchist leaders. In absence of good journalism, newspapers capitalized on public fears and reverted to their traditional narrative of the foreign subversive and recreated a spirit of intolerance. The New York Times demanded harsh retribution against anarchists “The only proper way for the police to deal with these fellows [anarchists] is to go to their meetings armed… and shoot them when they begin to rant.” This quote is particularly significant because it promotes the indiscriminate use of violence against anarchists. Newspapers disseminated xenophobic narratives that would influence citizens to demand and accept future repressive federal legislation. Four days after the shooting, the New York Tribune published a cartoon depicting an anarchist, armed with a bomb and a knife, curtailed from passing the gates of “Civilization” by Lady Justice. The caption for this article read “Put ‘Em Out and Keep ‘Em Out,” which suggested that the only way to protect Americans from the foreign subversive was to deport anarchists from the United States and keep them from entering the country. Variations of this cartoon were distributed in other outlets such as Harpers Weekly and the St. Paul

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