Scripted Violence

What is Scripted Violence?

Learn how Trump uses “Scripted Violence” rhetoric that encourages some of his followers to act out in verbal and physical attacks on Trump’s named scapegoats without a direct connection–but an indirect yet powerful connection that makes Trump morally culpable.

See a Slideshow on the processes involved:

How Mobilizing Resentment Generates Scripted Violence: Analyzing the “Tools of Fear” by Chip Berlet – Presented at the Pennsylvania Sociological Society Annual Meeting Northampton Community College, October 25, 2018
(The night before the terrorist murders in Pittsburgh)

I waive all copyright protections and note that this slideshow linked above can be referenced, linked to, or reproduced in any unmodified form.
Creative Commons License

The handout explaining the processes:

………………………………………….. Read the full final draft of my chapter:
Heroes Know Which Villains to Kill:
How Coded Rhetoric Incites Scripted Violence.”
Scripted Violence An early use of the term “Scripted Violence” in social science publications includes:
Darrell Y. Hamamoto. 2010.
Empire of Death: Militarized Society and the Rise of Serial Killing and Mass Murder.  August 2010.

  • New Political Science 24 (1), 105-120.

Coming Soon:
Trumping Democracy in the United States:
from Reagan to Alt-Right

A New Book by Chip Berlet from Routledge
< >

Challenging Right-Wing Populism, White Nationalism,
Gender Panics, Christian Dominionism, Neofascism,
Militarism, Environmental Plunder, and
Greedster “Neoliberal” Economics

All fascists use some form of populist rhetoric.
Not all populists are fascists.
Right-wing populism can be a precursor to fascism.
Scapegoating rhetoric in both can lead to violence.
Neither should be ignored.
When most people recognize the potential for fascism
. . . .It is too late to stop it….

What’s Going On?

Right-wing Republicans, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz,
Fox News, Talk Radio, the Koch Brothers, the Tea Parties,
the Patriot movement, the Oath Keepers, the Oregon Standoff,
the New World Order conspiracy theories,
Obama is a Muslim?

It’s not one big conspiracy folks, but there are linkages and processes that are as old as the Presidency of Andrew Jackson
and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan after the Civil War.

Here is more bad news…even if Trump loses, the toxic bigotry he spews is a form of “scripted violence” that encourages angry people to harm and perhaps kill the scapegoated targets he identifies slyly as enemies of the “real” Americans: Angry White Men

How the Rhetoric of Right-Wing Populism
with its “Producerist” Conspiracy Theories
Fuels a Bigoted Right-Wing Juggernaut
Promoting White Nationalism

Available in these formats:

A Full Slide Show on Right-Wing Populism & “Producerist” Conspiracism:
As Web Pages (html)
MP4 VideoDownloadable PDF File

A Single-Page Chart
A Set of Connected Charts

The Trump Collection Landing Pages:

Chip’s Scratch Pad


Scripted Violence and the Tools of Fear