Terrorism by Corporate + Government Collusion = Fascism by definition


Terrorism by Corporate + Government collusion = Fascism by definition

Where “Too Big to Fail” Corporations Have Become Our “Too Big to Sell” Government

<><><>

American fascism:

by political definition the US is now fascist,

not a constitutional republic Examiner Bio

December 14, 10:55 AMLA County Nonpartisan ExaminerCarl Herman

Previous Next

40 comments Subscribe

Email Address

Include other special offers from Examiner.com

We hold these Truths to be self-evident…

Look in any textbook or encyclopedia and compare US policy (not rhetoric) to the definitions of fascism and constitutional republic. I’ll explain it here, but check my work. If at the end of your consideration, you agree that the United States of America is now a fascist state, please speak-up about it. Also, consider the policy requests at the end of the article.

Please read this article like a prima facie legal argument; that means unless you can refute the facts, they stand as our best understanding of the issue. Here, if you can’t refute the evidence that the US is now a fascist state, then accept this as your best understanding. As time passes, if evidence is brought forward to further the case for fascism or refute it, your comprehensive understanding improves. Here we go:

Definitions:

The definition of “fascism” has some academic variance, but is essentially collusion among corporatocracy, authoritarian government, and controlled media and education. This “leadership” is only possible with a nationalistic public accepting policies of war, empire, and limited civil and political rights.

“Constitutional republic” is a political philosophy of limited government, separated powers with checks and balances to ensure the federal government’s power stays limited within the Constitution, protected civil liberties, and elected representatives responsible to the people who retain the most political power. In the US we also embrace inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence, and creative independence to cooperatively compete for our nation’s best ideas to move forward and be rewarded.

History:

The United States was structured as a constitutional republic. Before we consider the US present condition, let us contextualize our concern from the nation’s Founders’ grave admonishments and doubts as to Americans’ ability to retain it. If you honor America at all, give their most serious warnings your full attention for the next 1,000 words spanning from Ben Franklin to Abraham Lincoln.

On September 18, 1787, just after signing the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin met with members of the press. He was asked what kind of government America would have. Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it.” In his speech to the Constitutional Convention, Franklin admonished: “This [U.S. Constitution] is likely to be administered for a course of years and then end in despotism… when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” The Quotable Founding Fathers, pg. 39

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many. Let it be the study, therefore, of lawgivers and philosophers, to enlighten the people’s understandings and improve their morals, by good and general education; to enable them to comprehend the scheme of government, and to know upon what points their liberties depend; to dissipate those vulgar prejudices and popular superstitions that oppose themselves to good government; and to teach them that obedience to the laws is as indispensable in them as in lords and kings.” – John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government (1787), Ch. 18.

“A mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits (of government) is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.” – James Madison, Federalist Paper #48, 1788.

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” – James Madison, “Political Observations” (179504-20); also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491.

“It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power… Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go… In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

– Thomas Jefferson, Draft Kentucky Resolution (1798. ME 17:388)

“A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring, it is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” – James Madison, Letter to W.T. Barry (182208-04)

Washington made the topic of the Farewell Address he had printed and distributed as the culmination of his advice to Americans to “guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion…

Lincoln spoke in honor of the few still-living veterans of the Revolutionary War in the concise power we ascribe as one of history’s most powerful.

The following six paragraphs are from Abraham Lincoln in his Lyceum Address, January 27 1838.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide…

I know the American People are much attached to their Government;–I know they would suffer much for its sake;–I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.

Here then, is one point at which danger may be expected.

The question recurs, “how shall we fortify against it?” The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;–let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap–let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;–let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

…Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.–Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.”

What is the evidence for American fascism in the present?

The US brazenly violates our laws of war, both demanded by the Constitution and the UN Charter, with open invasion of Afghanistan in abject violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and their government’s agreement to help extradite Osama bin Laden upon US presentment of evidence that he was involved in any crime of UN and/or international law. The US refused both the Afghan standard legal requirement of extradition and the UN resolution for cooperation under law and attacked. The new administration of Obama does not acknowledge this illegal history, but expands the invasion and attacks Pakistan. This policy is fascist, not limited by US law.

The US openly lied about reasons to justify an attack upon Iraq, destroying any semblance of argument of “self-defense.” The Obama administration won’t acknowledge the disclosed history from our own House and Senate investigations, and violates his oath of office to prosecute clear crimes. This policy is authoritarian, fascist, and does not hold equality under just laws. It is an un-American policy by definition.

The US tortured, with Obama refusing to prosecute and giving empty rhetoric to end it. The destruction of civil liberties to enforce authoritarian government is fascist, not American.

The US lies for more war with Iran, rejecting inalienable and legal rights for Iranians. Obama continues this policy of unlawful aggression, including official policy for first-strike nuclear weapons upon conclusion that Iran poses a possible future threat to the US and/or our allies. Political leaders and corporate media ignore the ignoble history of US vicious domination of Iranian government through coup and backed invasion. Fascist policy; un-American.

The US violates numerous treaty law with WMD, and hypocritically asserts our war targets’ alleged violations justify US armed attack. This rejection of limited government under the law is a fascist empire on the loose, not a law-abiding neighbor. Added hypocrisy is the psychopathic front of American political leaders as Christians.

American corporatocracy is dominated by Enron-like cartels, headed by banks receiving the transfer of TRILLIONS of our tax dollars to pay-off their gambling debts in exotic derivative markets the federal government regulates only in more empty rhetoric. This socialization of corporate-insiders’ losses is fascist, and fundamentally in opposition of the American ideal of cooperative competition on a level playing field. Obvious financial solutions for the public good are ignored in their corporate and not public policy commitment.

While our government’s official line is respect for Islam, their wars betray this analysis. If extremists were the small minority, why not peacefully cooperate to marginalize and arrest those in violation of just laws? Muslims as a group are often demonized in US media, and often the entire group is branded as terrorists. For example, consider this segment from the radio talk show of Michael Savage.

The corporate media will not present such disturbing facts and analysis. Their outright lies of commission and omission are prima facie evidence of a controlled media, supported by revealed documentation from whistle-blowers. American freedom of the press is left to independent websites and those few media outlets who tolerate reporting such as you read now.

Yeah, but we’re not totally fascist! Saying the US is fascist is just not right!!!

Yes, I’ve made the case for fascism only in the area of tens of trillions of our tax dollars in the economy, Wars of Aggression based on objective lies, authoritarian disregard for crucial laws and treaties of war and moral conduct, expansion of new unlawful war into Pakistan with rhetoric leading to more war with Iran, and a corporate press who won’t communicate these “emperor has no clothes” facts until the public breaks free of their cognitive blindness to clearly embrace our new American political reality.

We still vote for Republicans and Democrats in elections, yes, in a monied system with a virtual lock against 3rd party candidates given the costs of advertising and breaking the inertia of a two-party system.

We still have Internet press where authors such as I can point to the obvious, but with documented government-organized opposition in PSYOPS to ridicule challenging voices while counting of public cognitive blindness to keep the fascism unconcealed.

Policy response: Gandhi and Martin Luther King advocated public understanding of the facts and non-cooperation with evil. I’m among hundreds who advocate:

  1. Understand the laws of war. These were legislated after WW2 and are crystal-clear that only self-defense, in a narrow legal meaning, can justify war. This investment of your time takes less than an hour and empowers you to legally stand for ending these Wars of Aggression.
  2. Communicate. Trust your unique, beautiful, and powerful self-expression to share powerful information as you feel appropriate. Understand that while many people are ready to embrace difficult facts, many are not. Anticipate your virtuous response to being attacked and give it in the spirit of competition, just as you do in other fields.
  3. Refuse and end all orders and acts associated with these unlawful wars and constant violation of treaties. Those involved with US military, government, and law enforcement have an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution. Unlawful acts only move forward with sufficient cooperation and public tolerance. Stop cooperating with the most vicious crime a nation can commit: war.
  4. Prosecute the war leaders for obvious violation of the letter and spirit of US war laws. You can only understand how these wars are specifically unlawful by investing the time to do so. Because the crimes are so broad and deep, I recommend Truth and Reconciliation (T&R) to exchange full truth and return of stolen US assets for non-prosecution. This is the most expeditious way to understand and end all unlawful and harmful acts. Those who reject T&R either by volunteering their name and/or responding when named are subject to prosecution after the window of T&R closes.

I conclude with the 5-minute powerful video from PuppetGov: Had enough?

Please share this article with all who can benefit. If you appreciate my work, please subscribe by clicking under the article title (it’s free). Please use my archive of work to help build a brighter future.

http://www.examiner.com/x-18425-LA-County-Nonpartisan-Examiner~y2009m12d14-American-fascism-by-political-definition-the-US-is-now-fascist-not-a-constitutional-republic

<><><>

“America lives in a fascist state” – Gerald Celente

permalinke-mail story to a friendprint version

Published 19 April, 2009, 09:47

Edited 30 April, 2010, 12:21

The merger of corporate and government powers in modern America is plain and simple fascism, believes Gerald Celente, the founder of the Trends Research Institute and publisher of Trends Journal.

Yahoo StumbleUpon Google Live Technorati

del.icio.us Digg Reddit Mixx Propeller

Gerald Celente

Celente takes an in-depth look at what AIG and Goldman Sachs really are and the people behind them; explains the policies of the Obama’s administration, and the moral basis for a forthcoming new American Revolution.

RT: I’d like to begin by talking about the Treasury department. They’ve decided to extend bailout funds to a number of struggling life insurance policies. This is in addition to the auto industry and the banks. Do you think Americans are aware of what’s going on?

G.C.: They know about it, it’s a new trend. America is going from what used to be the major capitalistic country in the world of free market – a crusader – into what Mussolini would have called fascism: the merger of state and corporate powers. So it is not socialism as people believe, it is socialism’s egalitarianism. It’s not communism where the state controls monopolies – it’s fascism, plain and simple. The merger of corporate and government powers. State-controlled capitalism is called fascism, and fascism has come to America in broad daylight. But they’re feeding them it in little bits and pieces. First AIG was too big to fail. Mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were too big to fail. Banks too big to fail and auto companies. And now we give money to the people that make the auto parts. And now there’s talk about the technology companies, wanting their piece of the action. The merger of state and government is called fascism. Take it from Mussolini; he knew a thing or two about it.

Read more

RT: What can Americans do if they are opposed to the road that government officials are bringing them down?

G.C.: The people don’t really have a choice, there is no ballot box. I’m of Italian descent and I’ve heard enough of mafia stories for the rest of my life. If you want to look at a mafia, you can call it a republican and democratic party. And if you want to look at the two families, the heads of the mafia, all you have to do is to look at the Bushes and the Clintons. They’ve been running the show now for some 24 years. We heard about Obama who is going to bring in ‘change’. A change you could believe in if he is dumb, stupid and blind. Look who he’s brought in as his chief policy makers. Retreads from the old Clinton administration. It’s a two-headed one-party system. So it’s very difficult for the people to vote in a new administration that isn’t part of the old one.

RT: Can you tell me one thing that you like about President Obama?

G.C.: In the Trends Journal, the top trends of 2009, one of our trends was that people are going to be putting out ‘recession gardens’. And now as we see the Obamas, they are planting their own garden, and that trend is taking hold. So he is doing that in positive ways, he’s bringing an element of dignity back to society. Those are positives. But now let me look at whether it’s true or the hypocrisy. So, they are talking about planting their own gardens. And they are talking about buying local. Oh, all that is wonderful, but on the other side of the coin they are pushing genetically modified foods while they’re eating organic. So it’s like ‘let them eat Frankenfoods’ – this is the message. So I see hypocrisy at every level. When they show me truth and justice, and the real American way – then I’ll believe.

RT: If I revert to our previous interview, I asked you – “what kind of revolution do you think would happen and when, and why would it happen?” and you said there would be a tax revolt. And now we are hearing more and more about these ‘tea parties’. What do you make of that? Do you think that that’s just the first action and many actions to follow from the American public?

G.C.: There is going to be a lot more. This is just a beginning. As a Bronx boy, my saying is: ‘when people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose – they lose it’.

You’re gonna start see people taking to the streets, like they do in other countries. People have had it, they are fed up. They can’t afford it anymore. Look at what is going on. Ten major states are raising taxes again as people are losing their jobs, income is going down, they are losing their pensions, they are losing their investments – and the government is saying: more taxes, more taxes, more taxes…

At the same time, what’s happening is, on the top, they are changing the regulations so the thieves could steal more, just as they did with the new banking act. They call it mark-to-market. So it is now allowing them to do rather than putting the real loss of their assets – the toxic assets that they are holding – they are letting them make up what they want! Come up with fictitious numbers and you are going to start seeing ‘bank stocks going up again’.

It is fake, and what they are doing is they’re changing the regulations on the top so the big thieves could steal more, while they clamping down on the little people – and the little people have had it.

RT: These stimulus plans, both with former President Bush and with President Obama, were rushed through so quickly and you make a comparison to the way that the US launched the War on Iraq with the same urgency of the plans.

G.C.: They push it through so that people are kept off guard – they put fear into the people’s hearts. Remember the mushroom cloud that was going to explode if we did not do it very quickly with Iraq? And remember the financial system was going to collapse if we didn’t save AIG? And who ever knew the AIG was, to begin with?! “What’s an AIG?! I’ve never heard of one before!” most people would say.

When the AIG plan was rushed through, the only person outside of the Federal Reserve and Washington to sit on that AIG bailout was Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs got $13 billion of taxpayer money so that they wouldn’t take the loss of the AIG bailout because they bet bad with AIG.

And who was the Treasury Secretary at the time? Former CEO of Goldman Sachs Henry Paulson. Oh, and who did Obama bring in to run AIG now for the government? Ed Liddy. And where is Ed Liddy from? Goldman Sachs. The fix is in, the game is rigged. Forget about calling this ‘government’, Wall Street has hijacked Washington.

RT: So now what?

G.C.: We need a revolution. And we’re going to talk about that more in the future. And we’re going to be announcing our plans for the revolution in the coming weeks. And it is going to be much greater than the tea parties or the tax revolts.

My morality, the way I was raised, there are two things in the moral code that are against everything that I was taught. The first is that you don’t kill innocent people, and the US is involved in killing innocent people both in Iraq and Afghanistan. The facts speak for themselves. It has been proven that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, nor ties to Al-Qaeda. Yet the US is still waging war in Iraq. Number two, this whole thing about Afghanistan, taking over the country for whatever reasons, and the Russians know it even better than the Americans, and the English knew it before the Russians – this has been going on and on. The Afghani people have done nothing to the Americans. And now President Obama has sent another 21,000 troops into Afghanistan. So, killing innocent people is against my morality.

The second part of the revolution, why we are calling for revolution is that we are getting robbed in broad daylight. The numbers and facts we have discussed speak for themselves. They’re pick-pocketing the little people to pay off the big guys. This is against everything that has ever been taught to us in this country growing up as a free market society. It’s fascism.

RT: When somebody calls you a gloom-and-doomer, somebody that’s scaring the public… what is your response to that?

G.C.: My response is suppose you go to a doctor as if you feel that something is really wrong with you and the doctor gives you a diagnosis and this diagnosis is maybe cancer. Do you call the doctor a gloom-and-doomer? It’s the fact, people better grow up. The ship has hit the iceberg and it’s sinking.

We are telling people, just as the doctor would tell a patient, “Look, there are ways out of it but first we have to recognize what the disease is. And then we are going to have to be very inventive about trying to attack it in a number of different ways. We could go through complementary medicine, we could go through traditional… we could even go through a combination of things.” But you respect what the doctor is saying, and you don’t call him a gloom-and-doomer. It is a childish response that people have that want to believe that they have a new leader, and that the new leader would lead them down the yellow brick road of happiness. Rather than understanding that there is nobody behind the curtain. It’s the Wizard of Oz. They’d better grow up; nobody is going to save them.

So, we put out the information, we’re saying: “This is the direction things are going in. This is where we believe they are going to end up. Here are some strategies to consider so you don’t go down with the ship.”

4.6/5 (469 votes)

rate this story

http://rt.com/Top_News/2009-04-19/_America_lives_in_a_fascist_state____Gerald_Celente.html?fullstory

<><><>

America Turning Into a Fascist State? It Already Has!

This is not the America that anyone over the age of 30 grew up with. The Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned us about in 1954 http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/speeches/eisenhower001.htm is already running this country. The democratic rule of the people that has been the lynchpin of our nation is controlled no longer by the people, but by business interests that control our elective officials through campaign funding and lobbyist connections. The American voter has been disenfranchised by a media that has usurped the discourse of normal campaigning by ignoring certain candidates and not allowing them on debates. The system is rigged people. The question is what are we going to do about it?

The electronic voting machines that tabulate the votes have no paper trail. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what the vote by the people is, it’s who counts there votes. We have seen many times that voting “irregularities” have popped up in Florida, Michigan, and many other States. Some have been taken to court and by the grace of God, some of these irregularities have been overturned. The Presidential irregularities in the 2000 Presidential contest were decided by the Supreme Court. That was a travesty. This gave us eight years of a man that never once won the popular vote.

We are involved in two wars in the middle east, we have our fingers in Columbia, propping up the only far right government in Latin America, we have decided to enter the internal affairs of Bolivia, a poor country that has a secessionist movement that is being fomented by the rich landowners in the east of the country that want no part of President Evo Morales and his populist government. The US in its wisdom has donated over $125 Million Dollars to help this succession. http://therealnews.com/web/index.php Is this in our national interests? The United States of America is re-forming it’s Fourth Fleet that was disbanded in 1950 and reinstituting it to face “new” challenges in the Western Hemisphere. What are those “challenges”? Is it because the governments of Latin America are cutting their ties to the US and refusing to send its soldiers to the “School of the Americas” at Ft.Benning, Georgia because they are abandoning the US and it’s imperialistic policies that have been raping the Southern Hemisphere for over a century?

The US has devalued its money and continues to borrow fro anyone that will lend it to us. We are a debtor nation. We seem not to take that into account when we rattle our sabers to Iran. Iran is no threat to mainland America. It may be a threat to Israel, but Israel is the recipient of Billions of US Aid that we can scarcely afford and has an estimated 300 Nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/farr.htm Of what possible help could we give to a megalith of power that has become the State of Israel that has been taken over by the Likud Party of Olmert who preaches the same rhetoric as Bush and his neo-cons that have constantly pushed for war and more war since taking power?

The American people for the large part have been stuck on “Stupid” for the last ten years. Our press is censored, we know nothing about what is happening in the world at large, and instead we listen to stories about “celebrities” and events that happen inside our country. http://www.serendipity.li/cda.html We have been dumbed down by the media and the majority of Americans don’t know the difference! We are eating food that is genetically altered without our knowledge. http://www.globalissues.org/EnvIssues/GEFood.asp We are building internment camps by the hundreds inside almost every state in the Union! http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12078.htm The Constitution has been trashed by The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act of 2006, The Warner Defense Bill and countless other bills that had provisions put in them that Congress knew nothing about until they became law. www.huffingtonpost.com/users/profile/Shaddup

This Congress and The Executive Branch represent business, not the American people. We have precious little liberty left in this country, and in that definition, we are already at the definition of a fascist state, rum by business and not the people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism What I’m trying do in this article is wake some of you people up that think Barak Obama or John McCain are going to change things! They are both owned and operated by the business sectors of this government. WWW.opensecrets.org The North American Union and the SPP are no longer “ideas” that are being contemplated. There are rail hubs being built in Kansas City that will tie all three Nations together. This is pretty much happening as we speak. http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=5208 Why are detention camps being built in “The Land of the Free and the Home of The Brave”? That’s what I want to know. How does Presidential Directive (PDD51) fit into all of this?

For all you doubting Thomas’s, I will painstakingly link everything I have mentioned in this article. It will take time, but it’s my job as a Patriot.

Labels: America, fascism, NWO

<><><>

The Top Ten Reasons Why the USA is a Fascist State

“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini

Fascism as defined by American Heritage Dictionary:  “A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism.”

10)  Our economic and financial sector is controlled by the men from Goldman-Sachs – H. Paulson, R. Rubin. Their close friends are L. Summers, supporter of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, and the mentee of R. Rubin and L. Summers, T. Geithner.  Geithner meets regularly with his Wall Street friends in NYC at Four Seasons.

9)  President Obama is keeping the power that President Bush gave him.  He is not changing things as he said he would.

8)  People who are called moderate today were called right wing in 1970.

7)  If Richard Nixon were president today, he would be attacked as a  liberal.

5)   The rights of citizens are decreasing every year.

4) Habeus Corpus is now provided on a limited basis by our government.

3) Fascists hate communism and accuse people of being communist or socialist as a means of denigrating their ideas.

2) State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management. (pp. 135-136) – Benito Mussolini  “The Doctrine of Fascism” [credit to PublicEye.org]

1) “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group, [read corporations and financial organizations],or by any other controlling private power.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1938

Author tags:power, usa, fascism

<><><>

Is America Becoming Fascist?

The similarities between American fascism and particularly the National Socialist precedent, both historical and theoretical, are remarkable. Fascism is home, it is here to stay, and it better be countered with all the intellectual resources at our disposal.

by Anis Shivani

04/27/03

Since mainstream left-liberal media do not seriously ask this question, the analysis of what has gone wrong and where we are heading has been mostly off-base. Investigation of the kinds of under-handed, criminal tactics fascist regimes undertake to legitimize their agenda and accelerate the rate of change in their favor is dismissed as indulging in “conspiracy theory.” Liberals insist that this regime must be treated under the rules of “politics as usual. Liberals are quick to note certain obvious dissimilarities with previous variants of fascism and say that what is happening in America is not fascist. It took German justice minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin to make the comparison explicit (under present American rules of political discourse, she has been duly sacked from her cabinet post); but at the liberal New York Times or The Nation, American writers dare not speak the truth.

The blinkered assertion that we are immune to the virus ignores degrees of convergence and distinction based on the individual patient’s history. The Times and other liberal voices have been obsessed over the last year with the rise of minority fascist parties in the Netherlands, France, and other European countries. They have questioned the tastefulness of new books and movies about Hitler, and again demonized such icons of Nazism as Leni Riefenstahl. Is this perhaps a displacement of American anxiety onto the safer European scene, liberal intellectuals here not wanting to confront the troubling truth? The pace of events in the last year has been almost as blindingly fast as it was after Hitler’s Machtergreifung and the consolidation of fascist power in 1933. Speed stuns and silences.

Max Frankel, former editor of the Times, quotes from biographer Joachim Fest in his review of Speer: The Final Verdict: ” . . .how easily, given appropriate conditions, people will allow themselves to be mobilized into violence, abandoning the humanitarian traditions they have built up over centuries to protect themselves from each other,” and that a “primal being” such as Hitler “will always crop up again.” Is Frankel really redirecting his anxiety about the primal being that has arisen in America? When Frankel says that “Speer far more than Hitler [because the former came from a culturally refined background] makes us realize how fragile these precautions are, and how the ground on which we all stand is always threatened,” is this an oblique reference to the ground shifting from under us?

The Iraqi adventure, which is only the first step in a more ambitious militarist agenda, has been opposed by the most conservative warmongers of past administrations. If the test of any theory is its predictive capacity, Bush’s extreme risk-taking is better explained by the fascist model. Purely economic motives are a large part of the story, but there is a deeper derivation that exceeds such mundane rationales. Several of the apparent contradictions in Bush’s governance make perfect sense if the fascist prism is applied, but not with the normal perspective.

To pose the question doesn’t mean that this is a completed project; at any point, anything can happen to shift the course of history in a different direction. Yet after repeated and open corruption of the normal electoral process, several declarations of world war (including in three major addresses, and now the National Security Strategy document), adventurous and unprecedented military doctrines, suspension of much of the Bill of Rights, and clear signals that a declaration of emergency to crush remaining dissent is on the way, surely it is time to analyze the situation differently.

Absent that perspicacity, false diagnoses and prescriptions will continue. It is fine to be concerned about tyrannous Muslim regimes, and surely they need to set their own house in order, but not now, not in this context, and not under the auspices of the American fascist regime. Liberals don’t yet realize, or fail to admit, that they may have been condemned to irrelevance for quite some time; the death blow against even mild welfare statism might already have been struck.

The similarities between American fascism and particularly the National Socialist precedent, both historical and theoretical, are remarkable. Fascism is home, it is here to stay, and it better be countered with all the intellectual resources at our disposal.

American fascism is tapping into the perennial complaint against liberalism: that it doesn’t provide an authentic sense of belonging to the majority of people. And that is a criticism difficult to dismiss out of hand. As the language of liberalism has become flat and predictable, some Americans have become more ready to accept an alternative, no matter how ridiculous, as long as it sounds vigorous and muscular.

America today is seeking a return to some form of vitalism, some organic, volkisch order that will “unite” the blue and red states in an eternal Volkgemeinschaft; is in a state of perpetual war and militaristic aggression targeting all potential counters to hegemony; has been coercing and blackmailing its own victims and oppressed (justified by anti-political correctness rhetoric) to return to a mythical national consensus; has introduced surveillance technology to demolish the private sphere to an extent unimaginable in the recent past; and fetishizes technology as the futuristic solution to age-old ills of alienation and mistrust.

And we are right in the mainstream of the Western philosophical and political tradition in this subtle (overnight?) transformation. Liberal democracy was replaced by Mussolini by these two Holy Trinities: Believe, Obey, Fight, and Order, Authority, Justice. These slogans seem to replace every liberal system sooner or later. Italian propagandistic slogans included: War is to man as childbirth is to woman, and Better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep. Sooner or later, the mob is persuaded that fascism best addresses its unfulfilled spiritual and psychological needs. Sooner or later there is a Hitler, and even if there isn’t a leader as charismatic as him, there is an anti-modernity counter-revolution.

The enlightenment everywhere has contained the seeds of its own destruction. Fascism merely borrows from the enlightenment’s credo that violence may sometimes be necessary to achieve valid political ends, and that human reason alone can lead humanity to utopia. Is Nazism an absolute aberration? Is America totally immune to fascism? Then we might as well discredit Rousseau’s “general will,” Hegel’s historical spirit, Goethe and Schelling’s romanticization of nature and genius, Darwin’s natural selection, and Nietzsche’s superman. When all is said and done, a Kant or Mill is never a match for a Nietzsche or Sorel. Industrial malaise (now post-industrial disorder), evaded by the dead-ends and delusions of liberalism, leads only to a romantic revolution, which is fine as long as it is in the hands of Byron, Keats, Carlyle, Ruskin and Arnold, but becomes eventually converted to a propaganda-saturated Third Way. Since liberalism doesn’t take up the challenge, fascism steps in to say that it offers an answer to centrifugal difference and lack of common purpose, and that it will dare to link industrial prosperity with communal goals.

How great a deviation from the roots of the enlightenment, the foundations of its self-justification, is the Manichean demonization of enemies, aliens, impure races, and barbaric others? America today wants to be communal and virile; it seeks to overcome what is presented by propagandists as the unreasonable demands for affirmative action and reparations by minorities and women; it wants to revalorize nation and region and race to take control of the future; it seeks to remold the nation through propaganda and charismatic leadership, into overcoming the social divisiveness of capitalism and democracy.

We have our own nationalist myths that our brand of fascism taps right into. In that sense, America is not exceptional. In the near future, America can be expected to embark on a more radical search to define who is not part of the natural order: exclusion, deportation, and eventually extermination, might again become the order of things. Of course, we can notice obvious differences from the German nationalist tradition: but that is precisely the task of scholars to delineate, rather than pretend that fascism occurred only in Italy and Germany and satellite states in the first half of the century, and occurs today only in Europe in minor movements that have no chance of gaining political supremacy.

It is wrong to pretend that fascism takes hold only in the midst of extreme economic depression or political chaos. (A perception of crisis or instability is indispensable to realizing fascism, however.) Fascism can emerge when things are not all that bad economically, politically, and culturally. The surprise about Weimar Germany is how well the political system was at times working, with proportional representation (almost an ideal of strong democracy theorists) providing political expression for a full range of ideologies. Germany was economically strong, an industrial powerhouse, despite having had to overcome massive disabilities imposed by the Versailles Treaty. In the early thirties, Hitler’s rise was facilitated by massive unemployment (perhaps forty percent of Germans were unemployed), but this was a phenomenon throughout the Western world.

The key point to note is that at many junctures along the way, it was possible that Hitler’s rise might never have happened. And that the elites accepted Hitler as the best possible option. All this makes Hitler and Nazism unexceptional. The basic paradigm remains more or less intact: we only have to account for variations in the American model. Capitalism today is different, so are the postmodern means of propaganda, and so are the technological tools of suppression. Besides, American foundational myths vary from European ones, and the romanticism propounded by Goethe, Schelling, Wagner and Nietzsche contrasts with a different kind of holistic urge in America. But that is only a matter of variation, not direct opposition. Liberals who say that demographics work against a Republican majority in the early twenty-first century do have a point; but fascism can occur precisely at that moment of truth, when the course of political history can definitely tend to one direction or another. A mere push can set things on a whole different course, regardless of underlying cultural or demographic trends. Nazism never had the support of the majority of Germans; at best about a third fully supported it. About a third of Americans today are certifiably fascist; another twenty percent or so can be swayed around with smart propaganda to particular causes. So the existence of liberal institutions is not necessarily inconsistent with fascism’s political dominance.

With all of Germany’s cultural strength, brutality won out; the same analysis can apply to America. Hitler never won clear majorities; yet once he was in power, he crushed all dissent. Consider the parallels to the fateful election of 2000. Hitler’s ascent to power was facilitated by the political elites; again, note the similarities to the last two years. Hitler took advantage of the Reichstag fire to totally change the shape of German institutions and culture; think of 9/11 as a close parallel. Hitler was careful to give the impression of always operating under legal cover, even for the most massive offenses against humanity; note again the similarity of a pseudo-legal shield for the actions of the American fascists. One can go on and on in this vein.

If we look at Stanley Payne’s classical general theory of fascism, we are struck by the increasing similarities with the American model:

A. The Fascist Negations

  • Anti-liberalism
  • Anti-communism
  • Anti-conservatism (though with the understanding that fascist groups . . .[are] more willing to undertake temporary alliances with groups from any other sector, most commonly the right).

B. Ideology and Goals

  • Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state.
  • Organization of some new kind of regulated, multi-class, integrated national economic structure.
  • The goal of empire.
  • Specific espousal of an idealist, voluntarist creed.
  • C. Style and Organization
  • Emphasis on aesthetic structure . . .stressing romantic and mystical aspects.
  • Attempted mass mobilization with militarization of political relationships and style and the goal of a mass party militia.
  • Positive evaluation and use of . . .violence.
  • Extreme stress on the masculine principle.
  • Exaltation of youth.
  • Specific tendency toward an authoritarian, charismatic, personal style of command.

American fascism denies affiliation with liberalism, communism, and conservatism. The first two denials are obvious; the third requires a little analysis, but fascism is not conservatism and it takes issue with conservatism’s anti-revolutionary stance. Conservatism’s libertarian strand, an American staple (think of the recent protestations of Dick Armey, the departing Bob Barr, and the Cato Institute against some of the grossest violations of civil liberties), would not agree with fascism’s “nationalist authoritarian state.” Reaganite anti-government rhetoric might well have been a precursor to fascism, but Hayekian free market and deregulationist ideology cannot be labeled fascism.

Continuing to look at Payne’s list, we note that the goal of “empire,” that much proscribed word in official American vocabulary, has found open acceptance over the last year among the fascist vanguard. Voluntarism has been elevated to iconic status in the current American manifestation of fascism. It takes a bit more effort to notice American fascism’s “emphasis on aesthetic structure. . .stressing romantic and mystical aspects,” but reflection suggests many innovative stylistic emphases. The mass party militia, especially large bands of organized, militarized youth, seems to be missing ­ for now. Violence is glorified for its own sake. The masculine principle has been elevated as the basis of policy-making. Command is authoritarian, charismatic, and personal. It is true that a charismatic leader like Hitler is missing from the scene; but one would have to ask if this is not a redundancy in the American historical context. Perhaps we are a society mobilized by very small degrees of charisma, unlike more informed, impassioned, ideologically committed electorates.

Roger Griffin holds that fascism consists of a series of myths: fascism is anti-liberal, anti-conservative, anti-rational, charismatic, socialist, totalitarian, racist and eclectic. If one wishes to argue that American fascism is by no means socialist, one ought to take a deeper look at National Socialism’s conception of socialism. In a sense, America is a socialist society, to the extent that the government is the main driving force behind technology, innovation, and science: the military-industrial-academic complex. National Socialism was comforting to the right-wing capitalists because they believed that socialism was a convenient fiction for the ideology. Nevertheless, fascism’s vitalism and holism militate against any facile interpretations of what socialism means. Fascism is eclectic and ready to abandon economic principle for what it perceives as the greater good of the nation. As Sternhell has described it for Germany, fascism in the American synthesis is a cultural rebellion, a revolutionary ideology; totalitarianism is of its very essence. There are more similarities than immediately apparent between Marxism as it was put into practice by the twentieth century communist states, and “socialist” ideology put into practice by the various fascist states.

Ian Kershaw has evaluated the similarities between Italian and German fascism:

  • Extreme chauvinistic nationalism with pronounced imperialistic expansionist tendencies;
  • an anti-socialist, anti-Marxist thrust aimed at the destruction of working class organizations and their Marxist political philosophy;
  • the basis in a mass party drawing from all sectors of society, though with pronounced support in the middle class and proving attractive to the peasantry and to various uprooted or highly unstable sectors of the population;
  • fixation on a charismatic, plebiscitary, legitimized leader;
    . extreme intolerance towards all oppositional and presumed oppositional groups, expressed through vicious terror, open violence and ruthless repression;
    . glorification of militarism and war, heightened by the backlash to the comprehensive socio-political crisis in Europe arising from the First World War;
    . dependence upon an “alliance” with existing elites, industrial, agrarian, military and bureaucratic, for their political breakthrough;
    . and, at least an initial function, despite a populist-revolutionary anti-establishment rhetoric, in the stabilization or restoration of social order and capitalist structures.

Viewed in this perspective, in only the last few months America has advanced tremendously from emerging to realized fascism. Its imperialist and expansionist tendencies need to be couched less and less in Wilsonian idealist terms for mass acceptance. Unions can still be considered an oppositional, populist force, but working class cohesion has nearly been destroyed. Still, it needs to be said that instead of fascism appealing across class and geographical lines, the country remains divided between the liberal (urban, coastal) and proto-fascist (rural, Southern) factions. Also, the plebiscitary leader has not yet fully emerged. Oppositional groups are often self-silencing, but the most of the ruling establishment continues to practice a mild form of liberalism, and hopes that if things get too out of hand it can mobilize public opinion against brutal suppression. Although not all elites have yet been co-opted, think of Dershowitz’s advocacy of torture and Larry Summers’s patriotic swing. There is general agreement on militaristic aims. The attempted stabilization of the social order in the form of the culture wars fought in the previous decade is one of the less appreciated manifestations of emerging fascism.

George Mosse describes fascism as viewing itself in a permanent state of war, to mobilize masculine virile energy, enlisting the masses as “foot soldiers of a civic religion.” As Mosse points out, fascism seeks a higher form of democracy even as it rejects the customary forms of representative government. Propaganda is pervasive in America; we only need to delineate its descent from the Nazi form. Mosse rejects the notion that fascism ruled through terror; “it was built upon a popular consensus.” Fascism is a higher consensus seeking to bring about the “new man” rooted in Christian doctrine. Can there be a better description of the nineties American culture wars instigated by the proto-fascists than the following?:

When fascists spoke of culture, they meant a proper attitude toward life: encompassing the ability to accept a faith, the work ethic, and discipline, but also receptivity to art and the appreciation of the native landscape. The true community was symbolized by factors opposed to materialism, by art and literature, the symbols of the past and the stereotypes of the present. The National Socialist emphasis upon myth, symbol, literature and art is indeed common to all fascism.

Most of this is obvious, except the reference to literature and art; but think of the fetishization of the Great Books and the mythical classical curriculum by Bennett and his like. In thus viewing fascism above all as a cultural movement, the objection might be raised that American fascism lacks a distinctive stylistic expression that iconizes youth and war. Instead, it might be argued that it suffers from callow endorsement by dour old white males, whose cultural appeal is limited in the discredited stylistic forms they employ. To some extent this is true, but one must never underestimate the fertile ground American anti-intellectualism provides for more banal forms of propaganda and cultural terrorism than needed to be deployed by Nazism. (Eminem does electrocute Cheney in his video, but in real life Cheney rules.) American communication technology, as was true of Nazi Germany, has pioneered whole new methods of trivialization of “mass death” and elevation of brutality as a “great experience.”

War is both necessary and great, and that is America’s continuation of the fascist fascination with revitalization of “basic moral values.” Furthermore, the puritanism of American fascism does not necessarily conflict with the Nazi emphasis on style and beauty: Nazism annexed “the pillars of respectability: hard work, self-discipline, and good manners,” which explains “the puritanism of National Socialism, its emphasis upon chastity, the family, good manners, and the banishment of women from public life.” The analogs to Karl May’s widely circulated novels in Weimar and Nazi Germany can probably be found here, as can America’s answer to Max Nordau, rebelling against decadence in art and literature, and maintaining that “lack of clarity, inability to uphold moral standards, and absence of self-discipline all sprang from the degeneration of their [artists’] physical organism.” Think only of the demonization of Mapplethorpe and others, the emasculation of the NEA, and the continued attack on alleged artistic degeneracy. We must be willing to consider expanded definitions of how romanticism has been incorporated by American fascism.

Liberals might complain that in America there hasn’t been a declared revolution, a transformation that asserts itself as such. But as noted above fascism simply takes over the liberals’ language of “clarity, decency, and natural laws,” as well as its ideals of “tolerance and freedom.” That sounds like the sleight-of-hand performed by the fascists here. As Mosse says:

Tolerance. . .was claimed by fascists in antithesis to their supposedly intolerant enemies, while freedom was placed within the community. To be tolerant meant not tolerating those who opposed fascism: individual liberty was possible only within the collectivity. Here once more, concepts that had become part and parcel of established patterns of thought were not rejected (as so many historians have claimed) but instead co-opted – fascism would bring about ideals with which people were comfortable, but only on its own terms.

So to be liberal means to be intolerant, out of sync with the American democratic spirit. That suggestion has taken hold among large numbers of people.

The current American aesthetic appreciation of technology (“smart” bombs) is also of a piece with Hitler’s passion. Fascism is not a deviance from popular cultural trends, but only the taming of activism within revived nationalist myths. Mosse holds that fascism didn’t diverge from mainstream European culture; it absorbed most of what held great mass appeal. It never decried workers’ tastelessness; it accepted these realities. The same principles apply to American fascism.

Umberto Eco, in his essay “Ur-Fascism,” identifies fourteen characteristics of “eternal fascism”: not all of them have to be present at the same time for a system to be considered fascist, and some of them may even be contradictory: “There was only one Nazism, and we cannot describe the ultra-Catholic Falangism of Franco as Nazism, given that Nazism is fundamentally pagan, polytheistic, and anti-Christian, otherwise it is not Nazism.” Eco is intelligent enough to suggest a family of resemblance, overlap, and kinship, and the analyst’s task is to note which particular characteristics apply to a system, and understand the reasons for the absence of others, rather than dismiss the fascist categorization if a single feature from a previous fascist variant doesn’t apply: “Remove the imperialist dimension from Fascism, and you get Franco or Salazar; remove the colonialist dimension, and you get Balkan Fascism. Add to Italian Fascism a dash of radical anti-Capitalism (which never appealed to Mussolini), and you get Ezra Pound. Add the cult of Celtic mythology and the mysticism of the Grail (completely extraneous to official Fascism), and you get one of the most respected gurus of Fascism, Julius Evola.”
It is noteworthy about Eco’s matrix that all fourteen of his characteristics of ur-fascism apply to America to some degree: 1. “the cult of tradition” (which may be “syncretic” and able to “tolerate contradictions“); 2. “the rejection of modernism” and “irrationalism”; 3. “the cult of action for action’s sake“; 4. “dissent is betrayal“; 5. “fear of difference,” or racism; 6. “the appeal to the frustrated middle classes” [this seems to cause the most trouble to American liberals; Eco clarifies, “In our day, in which the old ‘proletarians’ are becoming petits bourgeois (and the lumpen proletariat has excluded itself from the political arena), Fascism will find its audience in this new majority.]; 7. “obsession with conspiracies,” along with xenophobia and nationalism; 8. “the enemy is at once too strong and too weak” [note the simultaneous characterization of Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and no doubt future Islamic “terrorists” as capable of irrevocably harming us and being impotent to really do so]; 9. ‘Pacifism is. . .collusion with the enemy,” “life is a permanent war,” and only a “final solution” can herald an age of peace; 10. “scorn for the weak” imposed by a mass elite; 11. “the cult of death” [American fascists ascribe this characteristic to terrorists, when in fact it is one of their own supreme defining characteristics]; 12. transferring of the “will to power onto sexual questions,” or “machismo“; 13. “individuals have no rights,” and fascism “has to oppose ‘rotten’ parliamentary governments“; and 14. “Ur-Fascism uses newspeak.”

No doubt, fascism is a descriptor too carelessly thrown around; but Nixon and Reagan, no matter how reprehensible their politics, were not quite fascist. Bush is the most dangerous man in contemporary history: Hitler didn’t have access to weapons that could blow up the world, and no American or other leader since World War II with access to such weapons has been as out of control. Perhaps a non-controversial statement may be that the fascist tendency always exists, at the very least latent and dormant. But when more and more of the latency becomes actualized, there comes a point when the nature of the problem has to be redefined. We may already have crossed that point. As Eco notes, “Ur-Fascism can still return in the most innocent of guises. Our duty is to unmask it and to point the finger at each of its new forms ­ every day, in every part of the world.” And as Eco reminds us, Roosevelt issued a similar warning.

Since liberals don’t understand the magnitude of the crisis global capitalism faces, they don’t understand the extent of the desperate, last-ditch effort to find an ideological glue (“terror”) to hold together the centrifugal forces in the American population. Part of the confusion is that this is fascism but not really fascism ­ it is only its simulation, although no less horrifying for that reason ­ because all the twentieth-century ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, and socialism) are rapidly dissolving.

Anis Shivani studied economics at Harvard, and is the author of two novels, The Age of Critics and Memoirs of a Terrorist. He welcomes comments at:
Anis_Shivani_ab92@post.harvard.edu

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3127.htm

<><><>

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy – but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree – domestically – as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government – the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens’ ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors – we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don’t learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of “homeland” security – remember who else was keen on the word “homeland” – didn’t raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable – as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.

Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the events we see unfolding in the US.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now on a “war footing”; we were in a “global war” against a “global caliphate” intending to “wipe out civilisation”. There have been other times of crisis in which the US accepted limits on civil liberties, such as during the civil war, when Lincoln declared martial law, and the second world war, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned. But this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American Freedom Agenda notes, is unprecedented: all our other wars had an endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward freedom; this war is defined as open-ended in time and without national boundaries in space – the globe itself is the battlefield. “This time,” Fein says, “there will be no defined end.”

Creating a terrifying threat – hydra-like, secretive, evil – is an old trick. It can, like Hitler’s invocation of a communist threat to the nation’s security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other things, that the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the National Socialist evocation of the “global conspiracy of world Jewry”, on myth.

It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain – which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks – than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened with the end of civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

2. Create a gulag

Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal “outer space”) – where torture takes place.

At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as outsiders: troublemakers, spies, “enemies of the people” or “criminals”. Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders – opposition members, labour activists, clergy and journalists – are arrested and sent there as well.

This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy crackdowns ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to the Latin American coups of the 1970s and beyond. It is standard practice for closing down an open society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course, Guantánamo in Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept indefinitely without trial and without access to the due process of the law, America certainly has its gulag now. Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced they would issue no information about the secret CIA “black site” prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate people who have been seized off the street.

Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger and more secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We know from first-hand accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people, innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the US-run prisons we are aware of and those we can’t investigate adequately.

But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses involve only scary brown people with whom they don’t generally identify. It was brave of the conservative pundit William Safire to quote the anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller, who had been seized as a political prisoner: “First they came for the Jews.” Most Americans don’t understand yet that the destruction of the rule of law at Guantánamo set a dangerous precedent for them, too.

By the way, the establishment of military tribunals that deny prisoners due process tends to come early on in a fascist shift. Mussolini and Stalin set up such tribunals. On April 24 1934, the Nazis, too, set up the People’s Court, which also bypassed the judicial system: prisoners were held indefinitely, often in isolation, and tortured, without being charged with offences, and were subjected to show trials. Eventually, the Special Courts became a parallel system that put pressure on the regular courts to abandon the rule of law in favour of Nazi ideology when making decisions.

3. Develop a thug caste

When leaders who seek what I call a “fascist shift” want to close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out to terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need thugs who are free from prosecution.

The years following 9/11 have proved a bonanza for America’s security contractors, with the Bush administration outsourcing areas of work that traditionally fell to the US military. In the process, contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been issued for security work by mercenaries at home and abroad. In Iraq, some of these contract operatives have been accused of involvement in torturing prisoners, harassing journalists and firing on Iraqi civilians. Under Order 17, issued to regulate contractors in Iraq by the one-time US administrator in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, these contractors are immune from prosecution

Yes, but that is in Iraq, you could argue; however, after Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security hired and deployed hundreds of armed private security guards in New Orleans. The investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard who reported having fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a natural disaster that underlay that episode – but the administration’s endless war on terror means ongoing scope for what are in effect privately contracted armies to take on crisis and emergency management at home in US cities.

Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000. If you are reading history, you can imagine that there can be a need for “public order” on the next election day. Say there are protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history would not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a polling station “to restore public order”.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

In Mussolini’s Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China – in every closed society – secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.

In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens’ phones, read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state scrutiny.

In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about “national security”; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.

5. Harass citizens’ groups

The fifth thing you do is related to step four – you infiltrate and harass citizens’ groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in favour of peace, found itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, while churches that got Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal under US tax law, have been left alone.

Other harassment is more serious: the American Civil Liberties Union reports that thousands of ordinary American anti-war, environmental and other groups have been infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon database includes more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings, rallies or marches by American citizens in its category of 1,500 “suspicious incidents”. The equally secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (Cifa) agency of the Department of Defense has been gathering information about domestic organisations engaged in peaceful political activities: Cifa is supposed to track “potential terrorist threats” as it watches ordinary US citizen activists. A little-noticed new law has redefined activism such as animal rights protests as “terrorism”. So the definition of “terrorist” slowly expands to include the opposition.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

This scares people. It is a kind of cat-and-mouse game. Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the investigative reporters who wrote China Wakes: the Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power, describe pro-democracy activists in China, such as Wei Jingsheng, being arrested and released many times. In a closing or closed society there is a “list” of dissidents and opposition leaders: you are targeted in this way once you are on the list, and it is hard to get off the list.

In 2004, America’s Transportation Security Administration confirmed that it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who have found themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San Francisco; liberal Senator Edward Kennedy; a member of Venezuela’s government – after Venezuela’s president had criticised Bush; and thousands of ordinary US citizens.

Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author of the classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March 1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark, “because I was on the Terrorist Watch list”.

“Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that,” asked the airline employee.

“I explained,” said Murphy, “that I had not so marched but had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the constitution.”

“That’ll do it,” the man said.

Anti-war marcher? Potential terrorist. Support the constitution? Potential terrorist. History shows that the categories of “enemy of the people” tend to expand ever deeper into civil life.

James Yee, a US citizen, was the Muslim chaplain at Guantánamo who was accused of mishandling classified documents. He was harassed by the US military before the charges against him were dropped. Yee has been detained and released several times. He is still of interest.

Brandon Mayfield, a US citizen and lawyer in Oregon, was mistakenly identified as a possible terrorist. His house was secretly broken into and his computer seized. Though he is innocent of the accusation against him, he is still on the list.

It is a standard practice of fascist societies that once you are on the list, you can’t get off.

7. Target key individuals

Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they don’t toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile’s Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing pro-democracy students and professors.

Academe is a tinderbox of activism, so those seeking a fascist shift punish academics and students with professional loss if they do not “coordinate”, in Goebbels’ term, ideologically. Since civil servants are the sector of society most vulnerable to being fired by a given regime, they are also a group that fascists typically “coordinate” early on: the Reich Law for the Re-establishment of a Professional Civil Service was passed on April 7 1933.

Bush supporters in state legislatures in several states put pressure on regents at state universities to penalise or fire academics who have been critical of the administration. As for civil servants, the Bush administration has derailed the career of one military lawyer who spoke up for fair trials for detainees, while an administration official publicly intimidated the law firms that represent detainees pro bono by threatening to call for their major corporate clients to boycott them.

Elsewhere, a CIA contract worker who said in a closed blog that “waterboarding is torture” was stripped of the security clearance she needed in order to do her job.

Most recently, the administration purged eight US attorneys for what looks like insufficient political loyalty. When Goebbels purged the civil service in April 1933, attorneys were “coordinated” too, a step that eased the way of the increasingly brutal laws to follow.

8. Control the press

Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s, Czechoslovakia in the 60s, the Latin American dictatorships in the 70s, China in the 80s and 90s – all dictatorships and would-be dictators target newspapers and journalists. They threaten and harass them in more open societies that they are seeking to close, and they arrest them and worse in societies that have been closed already.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US journalists are at an all-time high: Josh Wolf (no relation), a blogger in San Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for refusing to turn over video of an anti-war demonstration; Homeland Security brought a criminal complaint against reporter Greg Palast, claiming he threatened “critical infrastructure” when he and a TV producer were filming victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Palast had written a bestseller critical of the Bush administration.

Other reporters and writers have been punished in other ways. Joseph C Wilson accused Bush, in a New York Times op-ed, of leading the country to war on the basis of a false charge that Saddam Hussein had acquired yellowcake uranium in Niger. His wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a CIA spy – a form of retaliation that ended her career.

Prosecution and job loss are nothing, though, compared with how the US is treating journalists seeking to cover the conflict in Iraq in an unbiased way. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or threatening to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the BBC. While westerners may question the accounts by al-Jazeera, they should pay attention to the accounts of reporters such as the BBC’s Kate Adie. In some cases reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN’s Terry Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq had staff members seized by the US military and taken to violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see the evidence against their staffers.

Over time in closing societies, real news is supplanted by fake news and false documents. Pinochet showed Chilean citizens falsified documents to back up his claim that terrorists had been about to attack the nation. The yellowcake charge, too, was based on forged papers.

You won’t have a shutdown of news in modern America – it is not possible. But you can have, as Frank Rich and Sidney Blumenthal have pointed out, a steady stream of lies polluting the news well. What you already have is a White House directing a stream of false information that is so relentless that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth from untruth. In a fascist system, it’s not the lies that count but the muddying. When citizens can’t tell real news from fake, they give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.

9. Dissent equals treason

Cast dissent as “treason” and criticism as “espionage’. Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly criminalise certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of “spy” and “traitor”. When Bill Keller, the publisher of the New York Times, ran the Lichtblau/Risen stories, Bush called the Times’ leaking of classified information “disgraceful”, while Republicans in Congress called for Keller to be charged with treason, and rightwing commentators and news outlets kept up the “treason” drumbeat. Some commentators, as Conason noted, reminded readers smugly that one penalty for violating the Espionage Act is execution.

Conason is right to note how serious a threat that attack represented. It is also important to recall that the 1938 Moscow show trial accused the editor of Izvestia, Nikolai Bukharin, of treason; Bukharin was, in fact, executed. And it is important to remind Americans that when the 1917 Espionage Act was last widely invoked, during the infamous 1919 Palmer Raids, leftist activists were arrested without warrants in sweeping roundups, kept in jail for up to five months, and “beaten, starved, suffocated, tortured and threatened with death”, according to the historian Myra MacPherson. After that, dissent was muted in America for a decade.

In Stalin’s Soviet Union, dissidents were “enemies of the people”. National Socialists called those who supported Weimar democracy “November traitors”.

And here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not realise that since September of last year – when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 – the president has the power to call any US citizen an “enemy combatant”. He has the power to define what “enemy combatant” means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define “enemy combatant” any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly.

Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the power to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow, or have us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial. (Prolonged isolation, as psychiatrists know, triggers psychosis in otherwise mentally healthy prisoners. That is why Stalin’s gulag had an isolation cell, like Guantánamo’s, in every satellite prison. Camp 6, the newest, most brutal facility at Guantánamo, is all isolation cells.)

We US citizens will get a trial eventually – for now. But legal rights activists at the Center for Constitutional Rights say that the Bush administration is trying increasingly aggressively to find ways to get around giving even US citizens fair trials. “Enemy combatant” is a status offence – it is not even something you have to have done. “We have absolutely moved over into a preventive detention model – you look like you could do something bad, you might do something bad, so we’re going to hold you,” says a spokeswoman of the CCR.

Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is hard to believe, even though it is true. In every closing society, at a certain point there are some high-profile arrests – usually of opposition leaders, clergy and journalists. Then everything goes quiet. After those arrests, there are still newspapers, courts, TV and radio, and the facades of a civil society. There just isn’t real dissent. There just isn’t freedom. If you look at history, just before those arrests is where we are now.

10. Suspend the rule of law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency – which the president now has enhanced powers to declare – he can send Michigan’s militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state’s governor and its citizens.

Even as Americans were focused on Britney Spears’s meltdown and the question of who fathered Anna Nicole’s baby, the New York Times editorialised about this shift: “A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night … Beyond actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or any ‘other condition’.”

Critics see this as a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act – which was meant to restrain the federal government from using the military for domestic law enforcement. The Democratic senator Patrick Leahy says the bill encourages a president to declare federal martial law. It also violates the very reason the founders set up our system of government as they did: having seen citizens bullied by a monarch’s soldiers, the founders were terrified of exactly this kind of concentration of militias’ power over American people in the hands of an oppressive executive or faction.

Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini’s march on Rome or Hitler’s roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.

Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in democracy could be closed down by a process of erosion.

It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days, things look normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in Berlin in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere – while someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are sailing: “dogs go on with their doggy life … How everything turns away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster.”

As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being fatally corroded. Something has changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press do their work today in a context in which we are “at war” in a “long war” – a war without end, on a battlefield described as the globe, in a context that gives the president – without US citizens realising it yet – the power over US citizens of freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.

That means a hollowness has been expanding under the foundation of all these still- free-looking institutions – and this foundation can give way under certain kinds of pressure. To prevent such an outcome, we have to think about the “what ifs”.

What if, in a year and a half, there is another attack – say, God forbid, a dirty bomb? The executive can declare a state of emergency. History shows that any leader, of any party, will be tempted to maintain emergency powers after the crisis has passed. With the gutting of traditional checks and balances, we are no less endangered by a President Hillary than by a President Giuliani – because any executive will be tempted to enforce his or her will through edict rather than the arduous, uncertain process of democratic negotiation and compromise.

What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged with treason or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to threaten Keller with last year? What if he or she got 10 years in jail? What would the newspapers look like the next day? Judging from history, they would not cease publishing; but they would suddenly be very polite.

Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide of tyranny for the rest of us – staff at the Center for Constitutional Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people needs everybody’s help, including that of Europeans and others internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home can mean for the rest of the world.

We need to look at history and face the “what ifs”. For if we keep going down this road, the “end of America” could come for each of us in a different way, at a different moment; each of us might have a different moment when we feel forced to look back and think: that is how it was before – and this is the way it is now.

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … is the definition of tyranny,” wrote James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.

· Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot will be published by Chelsea Green in September.

<><><>

Harper’s Magazine: We Now Live in a Fascist State

Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 13:34:38 -0700

The article below appears in the current issue of Harpers and was written
by Lewis H. Lapham

www.harpers.org/LewisLapham.html

Knowing the source of this piece makes it all the more disturbing. It is not every day that the editor of a respected national magazine publishes an essay claiming that America is not on the road to becoming, but ALREADY IS, a fascist state…. or words to that affect.

To help prepare you for what follows, here are the final sentence from this piece…. [I think we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police.]

On message By Lewis H. Lapham Harper’s Magazine, October 2005, pps. 7-9 “But I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, then Fascism and Communism, aided, unconsciously perhaps, by old-line Tory Republicanism, will grow in strength in our land.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt, November 4, 1938

In 1938 the word “fascism” hadn’t yet been transferred into an abridged metaphor for all the world’s unspeakable evil and monstrous crime, and on coming across President Roosevelt’s prescient remark in one of Umberto Eco’s essays, I could read it as prose instead of poetry — a reference not to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse or the pit of Hell but to the political theories that regard individual citizens as the property of the government, happy villagers glad to wave the flags and wage the wars, grateful for the good fortune that placed them in the care of a sublime leader. Or, more emphatically, as Benito Mussolini liked to say, “Everything in the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state.”

The theories were popular in Europe in the 1930s (cheering crowds, rousing band music, splendid military uniforms), and in the United States they numbered among their admirers a good many important people who believed that a somewhat modified form of fascism (power vested in the banks and business corporations instead of with the army) would lead the country out of the wilderness of the Great Depression — put an end to the Pennsylvania labor troubles, silence the voices of socialist heresy and democratic dissent. Roosevelt appreciated the extent of fascism’s popularity at the political box office; so does Eco, who takes pains in the essay “Ur-Fascism,” published in The New York Review of Books in 1995, to suggest that it’s a mistake to translate fascism into a figure of literary speech. By retrieving from our historical memory only the vivid and familiar images of fascist tyranny (Gestapo firing squads, Soviet labor camps, the chimneys at Treblinka), we lose sight of the faith-based initiatives that sustained the tyrant’s rise to glory. The several experiments with fascist government, in Russia and Spain as well as in Italy and Germany, didn’t depend on a single portfolio of dogma, and so Eco, in search of their common ground, doesn’t look for a unifying principle or a standard text. He attempts to describe a way of thinking and a habit of mind, and on sifting through the assortment of fantastic and often contradictory notions — Nazi paganism, Franco’s National Catholicism, Mussolini’s corporatism, etc. — he finds a set of axioms on which all the fascisms agree. Among the most notable:

The truth is revealed once and only once.

Parliamentary democracy is by definition rotten because it doesn’t represent the voice of the people, which is that of the sublime leader.

Doctrine outpoints reason, and science is always suspect.

Critical thought is the province of degenerate intellectuals, who betray the culture and subvert traditional values.

The national identity is provided by the nation’s enemies.

Argument is tantamount to treason.

Perpetually at war, the state must govern with the instruments of fear. Citizens do not act; they play the supporting role of “the people” in the grand opera that is the state.

Eco published his essay ten years ago, when it wasn’t as easy as it has since become to see the hallmarks of fascist sentiment in the character of an American government. Roosevelt probably wouldn’t have been surprised.

He’d encountered enough opposition to both the New Deal and to his belief in such a thing as a United Nations to judge the force of America’s racist passions and the ferocity of its anti-intellectual prejudice. As he may have guessed, so it happened. The American democracy won the battles for Normandy and Iwo Jima, but the victories abroad didn’t stem the retreat of democracy at home, after 1968 no longer moving “forward as a living force, seeking day and night to better the lot” of its own citizens, and now that sixty years have passed since the bomb fell on Hiroshima, it doesn’t take much talent for reading a cashier’s scale at Wal-Mart to know that it is fascism, not democracy, that won the heart and mind of America’s “Greatest Generation,” added to its weight and strength on America’s shining seas and fruited plains.

A few sorehead liberal intellectuals continue to bemoan the fact, write books about the good old days when everybody was in charge of reading his or her own mail. I hear their message and feel their pain, share their feelings of regret, also wish that Cole Porter was still writing songs, that Jean Harlow and Robert Mitchum hadn’t quit making movies. But what’s gone is gone, and it serves nobody’s purpose to deplore the fact that we’re not still riding in a coach to Philadelphia with Thomas Jefferson. The attitude is cowardly and French, symptomatic of effete aesthetes who refuse to change with the times.

As set forth in Eco’s list, the fascist terms of political endearment are refreshingly straightforward and mercifully simple, many of them already accepted and understood by a gratifyingly large number of our most forward-thinking fellow citizens, multitasking and safe with Jesus. It does no good to ask the weakling’s pointless question, “Is America a fascist state?” We must ask instead, in a major rather than a minor key, “Can we make America the best damned fascist state the world has ever seen,” an authoritarian paradise deserving the admiration of the international capital markets, worthy of “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”? I wish to be the first to say we can. We’re Americans; we have the money and the know-how to succeed where Hitler failed, and history has favored us with advantages not given to the early pioneers.

We don’t have to burn any books.

The Nazis in the 1930s were forced to waste precious time and money on the inoculation of the German citizenry, too well-educated for its own good, against the infections of impermissible thought. We can count it as a blessing that we don’t bear the burden of an educated citizenry. The systematic destruction of the public-school and library systems over the last thirty years, a program wisely carried out under administrations both Republican and Democratic, protects the market for the sale and distribution of the government’s propaganda posters. The publishing companies can print as many books as will guarantee their profit (books on any and all subjects, some of them even truthful), but to people who don’t know how to read or think, they do as little harm as snowflakes falling on a frozen pond.

We don’t have to disturb, terrorize, or plunder the bourgeoisie.

In Communist Russia as well as in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the codes of social hygiene occasionally put the regime to the trouble of smashing department-store windows, beating bank managers to death, inviting opinionated merchants on complimentary tours (all expenses paid, breathtaking scenery) of Siberia. The resorts to violence served as study guides for free, thinking businessmen reluctant to give up on the democratic notion that the individual citizen is entitled to an owner’s interest in his or her own mind.

The difficulty doesn’t arise among people accustomed to regarding themselves as functions of a corporation. Thanks to the diligence of out news media and the structure of our tax laws, our affluent and suburban classes have taken to heart the lesson taught to the aspiring serial killers rising through the ranks at West Point and the Harvard Business School — think what you’re told to think, and not only do you get to keep the house in Florida or command of the Pentagon press office but on some sunny prize day not far over the horizon, the compensation committee will hand you a check for $40 million, or President George W. Bush will bestow on you the favor of a nickname as witty as the ones that on good days elevate Karl Rove to the honorific “Boy Genius,” on bad days to the disappointed but no less affectionate “Turd Blossom.” Who doesn’t now know that the corporation is immortal, that it is the corporation that grants the privilege of an identity, confers meaning on one’s life, gives the pension, a decent credit rating, and the priority standing in the community? Of course the corporation reserves the right to open one’s email, test one’s blood, listen to the phone calls, examine one’s urine, hold the patent on the copyright to any idea generated on its premises. Why ever should it not? As surely as the loyal fascist knew that it was his duty to serve the state, the true American knows that it is his duty to protect the brand.

Having met many fine people who come up to the corporate mark — on golf courses and commuter trains, tending to their gardens in Fairfield County while cutting back the payrolls in Michigan and Mexico — I’m proud to say (and I think I speak for all of us here this evening with Senator Clinton and her lovely husband) that we’re blessed with a bourgeoisie that will welcome fascism as gladly as it welcomes the rain in April and the sun in June. No need to send for the Gestapo or the NKVD; it will not be necessary to set examples.

We don’t have to gag the press or seize the radio stations.

People trained to the corporate style of thought and movement have no further use for free speech, which is corrupting, overly emotional, reckless, and ill-informed, not calibrated to the time available for television talk or to the performance standards of a Super Bowl halftime show. It is to our advantage that free speech doesn’t meet the criteria of the free market. We don’t require the inspirational genius of a Joseph Goebbels; we can rely instead on the dictates of the Nielsen ratings and the camera angles, secure in the knowledge that the major media syndicates run the business on strictly corporatist principles — afraid of anything disruptive or inappropriate, committed to the promulgation of what is responsible, rational, and approved by experts. Their willingness to stay on message is a credit to their professionalism.

The early twentieth-century fascists had to contend with individuals who regarded their freedom of expression as a necessity — the bone and marrow of their existence, how they recognized themselves as human beings. Which was why, if sometimes they refused appointments to the state-run radio stations, they sometimes were found dead on the Italian autostrada or drowned in the Kiel Canal. The authorities looked upon their deaths as forms of self-indulgence. The same attitude governs the agreement reached between labor and management at our leading news organizations. No question that the freedom of speech is extended to every American — it says so in the Constitution — but the privilege is one that musn’t be abused. Understood in a proper and financially rewarding light, freedom of speech is more trouble than it’s worth — a luxury comparable to owning a racehorse and likely to bring with it little else except the risk of being made to look ridiculous. People who learn to conduct themselves in a manner respectful of the telephone tap and the surveillance camera have no reason to fear the fist of censorship. By removing the chore of having to think for oneself, one frees up more leisure time to enjoy the convenience of the Internet services that know exactly what one likes to hear and see and wear and eat. We don’t have to murder the intelligentsia.

Here again, we find ourselves in luck. The society is so glutted with easy entertainment that no writer or company of writers is troublesome enough to warrant the compliment of an arrest, or even the courtesy of a sharp blow to the head. What passes for the American school of dissent talks exclusively to itself in the pages of obscure journals, across the coffee cups in Berkeley and Park Slope, in half-deserted lecture halls in small Midwestern
colleges. The author on the platform or the beach towel can be relied upon to direct his angriest invective at the other members of the academy who failed to drape around the title of his latest book the garland of a rave review.

The blessings bestowed by Providence place America in the front rank of nations addressing the problems of a twenty-first century, certain to require bold geopolitical initiatives and strong ideological solutions. How can it be otherwise? More pressing demands for always scarcer resources; ever larger numbers of people who cannot be controlled except with an increasingly heavy hand of authoritarian guidance. Who better than the Americans to lead the fascist renaissance, set the paradigm, order the preemptive strikes? The existence of mankind hangs in the balance; failure is not an option. Where else but in America can the world find the visionary intelligence to lead it bravely into the future — Donald Rumsfeld our Dante, Turd Blossom our Michelangelo?

I don’t say that over the last thirty years we haven’t made brave strides forward. By matching Eco’s list of fascist commandments against our record of achievement, we can see how well we’ve begun the new project for the next millennium — the notion of absolute and eternal truth embraced by the evangelical Christians and embodied in the strict constructions of the Constitution; our national identity provided by anonymous Arabs; Darwin’s theory of evolution rescinded by the fiat of “intelligent design”; a state of perpetual war and a government administering, in generous and daily doses, the drug of fear; two presidential elections stolen with little or no objection on the part of a complacent populace; the nation’s congressional districts gerrymandered to defend the White House for the next fifty years against the intrusion of a liberal-minded president; the news media devoted to the arts of iconography, busily minting images of corporate executives like those of the emperor heroes on the coins of ancient Rome.

An impressive beginning, in line with what the world has come to expect from the innovative Americans, but we can do better. The early twentieth-century fascisms didn’t enter their golden age until the proletariat in the countries that gave them birth had been reduced to abject poverty. The music and the marching songs rose with the cry of eagles from the wreckage of the domestic economy. On the evidence of the wonderful work currently being done by the Bush Administration with respect to the trade deficit and the national debt — to say nothing of expanding the markets for global terrorism — I think we can look forward with confidence to character-building bankruptcies, picturesque bread riots, thrilling cavalcades of splendidly costumed motorcycle police.

<><><>

Fascism Part II:

The Rise of American Fascism by R G Price

– May 15, 2004

by   – May 15, 2004

http://rationalrevolution.net/articles/rise_of_american_fascism.htm

View/Provide feedback on this document

Purchase a hard copy of this document

<><><>

A Fascist America

by Justin Raimondo, March 05, 2005

Email This | Print This | Share This | Antiwar Forum

The idea that America is turning fascist has been popular on the Left for as long as I can remember: in the 1960s, when antiwar radicals raged against the Machine, this kind of hyperbole dominated campus political discourse and even made its way into the mainstream. When the radical Symbionese Liberation Army went into ultra-Left meltdown and began issuing incoherent “communiqués” to an indifferent American public, they invariably signed off by declaring: “Death to the fascist insect pig that preys on the life of the people!”

Such rhetoric, too overheated for American tastes, was quite obviously an exaggeration: America in the 1960s was no more “fascistic” than miniskirts, Hula Hoops, and the rhyming demagoguery of Spiro T. Agnew. Furthermore, we weren’t even close to fascism, as the downfall of Richard M. Nixon made all too clear to whatever incipient authoritarians were nurtured at the breast of the GOP.

Back in those halcyon days, America was, in effect, practically immune from the fascist virus that had wreaked such havoc in Europe and Asia in previous decades: there was a kind of innocence, back then, that acted as a vaccine against this dreaded affliction. Fascism – the demonic offspring of war – was practically a stranger to American soil. After all, it had been a century since America had been a battleground, and the sense of invulnerability that is the hallmark of youth permeated our politics and culture. Nothing could hurt us: we were forever young. But as we moved into the new millennium, Americans acquired a sense of their own mortality: an acute awareness that we could be hurt, and badly. That is the legacy of 9/11.

Blessed with a double bulwark against foreign invasion – the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – America hasn’t experienced the atomizing effects of large-scale military conflict on its soil since the Civil War. On that occasion, you’ll remember, Lincoln, the “Great Emancipator,” nearly emancipated the U.S. government from the chains of the Constitution by shutting down newspapers, jailing his political opponents, and cutting a swathe of destruction through the South, which was occupied and treated like a conquered province years after Lee surrendered. He was the closest to a dictator that any American president has come – but George W. Bush may well surpass him, given the possibilities that now present themselves.

From the moment the twin towers were hit, the fascist seed began to germinate, to take root and grow. As the first shots of what the neocons call “World War IV” rang out, piercing the post-Cold War calm like a shriek straight out of Hell, the political and cultural climate underwent a huge shift: the country became, for the first time in the modern era, a hothouse conducive to the growth of a genuinely totalitarian tendency in American politics.

The events of 9/11 were an enormous defeat for the U.S., and it is precisely in these circumstances – the traumatic humbling of a power once considered mighty – that the fascist impulse begins to find its first expression. That, at any rate, is the historical experience of Germany, for example, where a defeated military machine regenerated itself on the strength of German resentment and lashed out at Europe once again. The terrible defeat of World War I, and the injustice of the peace, created in Weimar Germany the cradle of National Socialism: but in our own age, where everything is speeded up – by the Internet and the sheer momentum of the knowledge explosion – a single battle, and a single defeat, can have the same Weimarizing effect.

The Republican Party’s response to 9/11 was to push through the most repressive series of laws since the Alien and Sedition Acts, starting with the “PATRIOT Act” and its successorsmaking it possible for American citizens to be held without charges, without public evidence, without trial, and giving the federal government unprecedented powers to conduct surveillance of its own citizens. Secondly, Republicans began to typify all opposition to their warmaking and anti-civil liberties agenda as practically tantamount to treason. Congress, thoroughly intimidated, was silent: they supinely voted to give the president a blank check, and he is still filling in the amount…

The intellectual voices of American fascism began to be heard in the land before the first smoke had cleared from the stricken isle of Manhattan, as even some alleged “libertarians” began to advocate giving up traditional civil liberties all Americans once took for granted. “It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes,” wrote “libertarian” columnist and Reason magazine contributing editor Cathy Young, “perhaps there are no true libertarians in times of terrorist attacks,” she noted, as she defended government spying on Americans and denounced computer encryption technology as “scary.” As much as Young’s self-conception as a libertarian is the result of a misunderstanding, that infamous “anti-government” sentiment that used to permeate the GOP evaporated overnight. Lew Rockwell trenchantly labeled this phenomenon “red-state fascism,” writing:

“The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing.”

This worrisome shift in the ideology and tone of the conservative movement has also been noted by the economist and writer Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury, who points to the “brownshirting” of the American Right as a harbinger of the fascist mentality. I raised the same point in a column, and the discussion was taken up by Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative, in a thoughtful essay that appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of that magazine. My good friend Scott sounds a skeptical note:

“It is difficult to imagine any scenario, after 9/11, that would not lead to some expansion of federal power. The United States was suddenly at war, mobilizing to strike at a Taliban government on the other side of the world. The emergence of terrorism as the central security issue had to lead, at the very least, to increased domestic surveillance – of Muslim immigrants especially. War is the health of the state, as the libertarians helpfully remind us, but it doesn’t mean that war leads to fascism.”

All this is certainly true, as far as it goes: but what if the war takes place, not in distant Afghanistan, but on American soil? That, I contend, is the crucial circumstance that makes the present situation unique. Yes, war is the health of the State – but a war fought down the block, instead of on the other side of the world, means the total victory of State power over individual liberty as an imminent possibility. To paraphrase McConnell, it is difficult to imagine any scenario, after another 9/11, that would not lead to what we might call fascism.

William Lind, director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation and a prominent writer on military strategy, argues that what he calls “cultural Marxism” is a much greater and more immediate danger than militaristic fascism, and that, in any case, the real problem is “abstract nationalism,” the concept of “the state as an ideal.” This ideal, however, died amid the destruction wrought by World War I, and is not about to be resurrected. And yet…

Lind raises the possibility, at the end of his piece, that his argument is highly conditional:

“There is one not unlikely event that could bring, if not fascism, then a nationalist statism that would destroy American liberty: a terrorist event that caused mass casualties, not the 3,000 dead of 9/11, but 30,000 dead or 300,000 dead. We will devote some thought to that possibility in a future column.”

I was going to wait for Mr. Lind to come up with that promised column, but felt that the matter might be pressing enough to broach the subject anyway. Especially in view of this, not to mention this.

If “everything changed” on the foreign policy front in the wake of 9/11, then the domestic consequences of 9/11 II are bound to have a similarly transformative effect. If our response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was to launch a decades-long war to implant democracy throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, what will we do when the battlefield shifts back to the continental U.S.? I shudder to think about it.

The legal, ideological, and political elements that go into the making of a genuinely fascist regime in America are already in place: all that is required is some catalytic event, one that needn’t even be on the scale of 9/11, but still dramatic enough to give real impetus to the creation of a police state in this country.

The legal foundation is already to be found in the arguments made by the president’s lawyers in asserting their “right” to commit torture and other war crimes, under the “constitutional” aegis of the chief executive’s wartime powers. In time of war, the president’s lawyers argue, our commander-in-chief has the power to immunize himself and his underlings against legal prosecution: they transcend the law, and are put beyond the judgement of the people’s representatives by presidential edict. Theoretically, according to the militarist interpretation of the Constitution, there is no power the president may not assume in wartime, because his decisions are “unreviewable.” On account of military necessity, according to this doctrine, we have to admit the possibility that the Constitution might itself be suspended and martial law declared the minute war touches American soil.

It wouldn’t take much. There already exists, in the neoconized Republican Party, a mass-based movement that fervently believes in a strong central State and a foreign policy of perpetual war. The brownshirting of the American conservative movement, as Paul Craig Roberts stingingly characterized the ugly transformation of the American Right, is so far along that the president can propose the biggest expansion of federal power and spending since the Great Society with nary a peep from the former enthusiasts of “smaller government.”

While the Newt Gingrich Republicans of the early 1990s were never really libertarians in any but a rhetorical sense – Newt himself has always been a hopelessly statist neocon – the great difference today is that the neocons are coming out with an openly authoritarian program. David Frum and Richard Perle, in their book An End to Evil, advocate establishing an Orwellian government database and comprehensive electronic surveillance system that not only keeps constant track of the whereabouts of everyone in the country, but also stores a dossier, complete with their religious and political affiliations. If anyone had brought such a proposal to the table in the pre-9/11 era, they would have been laughed out of town and mercilessly ridiculed for the rest of their lives. But today, the neocon tag-team of Frum and Perle not only gets away with it, but these strutting martinets are lauded by the same “conservatives” who used to rail against “Big Government.”

The label “neoconservative” has always been unsatisfactory, in part because the neocon ideology of rampant militarism, super-centralism, and unrestrained statism is necessarily at war with the libertarian aspects of authentic conservatism (the sort of conservatism that, say, Frank S. Meyer or Russell Kirk would find recognizable). Let’s start calling things by their right names: these aren’t neoconservatives. What we are witnessing is the rebirth of fascism in 21st century America, a movement motivated by the three principles of classical fascist ideology:

1) The idealization of the State as the embodiment of an all-powerful national will or spirit;

2) The leader principle, which personifies the national will in the holder of a political office (whether democratically elected or otherwise is largely a matter of style), and

3) The doctrine of militarism, which bases an entire legal and economic system on war and preparations for war.

Of these three, militarism really is the fountainhead, the first principle and necessary precondition that gives rise to the others. The militarist openly declares that life is conflict, and that the doctrine of economic and political liberalism – which holds that there is no necessary conflict of interests among men – is wrong. Peace is cowardice, and the values of prosperity, pleasure, and living life for its own sake are evidence of mindless hedonism and even decadence. Life is not to be lived for its own sake: it must be risked to have meaning, and, if necessary, sacrificed in the name of a “higher” (i.e., abstract) value. That “higher” value is not only defined by the State, it is the State: in war, the soldier’s life is risked on behalf of government interests, by government personnel, on behalf of expanding government power.

These beliefs are at the core of the fascist mentality, but there are other aspects of this question – too many to go into here. Since fascism is a form of extreme nationalism, every country has its own unique variety, with idiosyncrasies that could only have arisen in a particular locality. In one country, religion will play a prominent role, in others a more secular strategy is pursued: but the question of imminent danger, and the seizure of power as an “emergency” measure to prevent some larger catastrophe, is a common theme of fascist coups everywhere, and in America it is playing out no differently.

While Pinochet pointed to the imminent danger of a Communist revolution – as did Hitler – the neo-fascists of our time and place cite the omnipresent threat of a terrorist attack in the U.S. This is a permanent rationale for an ever escalating series of draconian measures fated to go far beyond the “PATRIOT Act” or anything yet imagined.

Already the intellectual and political ground is being prepared for censorship. The conservative campaign to discredit the “mainstream” media, and challenge its status as a watchdog over government actions, could easily go in an unfortunate direction if Bin Laden succeeds in his vow to take the fight to American shores. Well, since they’re lying, anyway, why not shut them down? After all, this is a “national emergency,” and “they’re not antiwar, they’re on the other side.”

The neoconservative movement represents the quintessence of fascism, as expressed by some of its intellectual spokesmen, such as Christopher Hitchens, who infamously hailed the Afghan war as having succeeded in “bombing a country back out of the Stone Age.” This belief in the purifying power of violence – its magical, transformative quality – is the real emotional axis of evil that motivates the War Party. This is especially true when it comes to those thuggish ex-leftists of Hitchens’ ilk who found shelter in the neoconservatives’ many mansions when the roof fell in on their old Marxist digs. Neocon ideologue Stephen Schwartz defends a regime notorious for torturing dissidents, shutting out all political opposition, and arresting thousands on account of their political and religious convictions – in Uzbekistan. How far are such people from rationalizing the same sort of regime in the U.S.?

At least one prominent neocon has made the case for censorship, in the name of maintaining “morality” – but now, it seems to me, the “national security” rationalization will do just as well, if not better.

McConnell is right that we are not yet in the grip of a fully developed fascist system, and the conservative movement is far from thoroughly neoconized. But we are a single terrorist incident away from all that: a bomb placed in a mall or on the Golden Gate Bridge, or a biological attack of some kind, could sweep away the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and two centuries of legal, political, and cultural traditions – all of it wiped out in a single instant, by means of a single act that would tip the balance and push us into the abyss of post-Constitutional history.

The trap is readied, baited, and waiting to be sprung. Whether the American people will fall into it when the time comes: that is the nightmare that haunts the dreams of patriots.

Read more by Justin Raimondo

<><><>

FascismUSA.com
– Where Big Corporations Have Become Our Government –


“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”
Benito Mussolini, Fascist dictator of Italy
“Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism’. I’m afraid, based on my own long experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.”
Sen. Huey Long

– Fourteen Characteristics of Fascism –

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Dr. Lawrence Britt

The above fourteen point definition of fascism clearly describes the current state of the United States of America, particularly under the second Bush Administration – a regime awash in corruption, secrecy, theocracy, militarism and election fraud. Never before in the history of this country have the people as a whole been rendered so powerless by a ruling, corporate, elite and gang of “Project For a New Century” imperialists.

Given the media control by a handful of powerful and unelected few, never before has the need for radical reforms been so necessary, and yet so difficult to mount.

As for the fourteen points, the only point which is no longer quite so applicable and defining today is that of economic Nationalism. While the flags may still wave, the country is being economically dismantled by a forced trade regime – i.e., an undemocratic, GATT-NAFTA, scheme written by and for mega-corporate interests. Forced interdependence, reward of the greater slave, giving away our industrial base to undemocratic powers, a war to divert our attention from the destruction of freedom, privacy and democracy at home is the order of the day. Added to this is the deliberate ruin of our currency to achieve a semblance of trade balance… an impossible feat once you no longer domestically manufacture goods to export and your service sector is also being decimated by outsourcing.

In short, preemptive wars and imperialism aside, the fascism we see today is not one aimed at strengthening the country but, rather, in reducing it to second and third-world status via a process of “harmonization” the people no longer control, and via interest-bearing debt ruin. It is only our remaining freedom, independence, wealth, Constitution and Internet democracy which stand in the way of a completed “Trilateralism” – i.e., a well-known, decades-old, ruling elite, scheme to reduce nation states to pawns in a corporate, controlled, global, fascist state and secure the neo-enclosures of the 21st century.


“If American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The next step in a fascist government is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other.”
Bertrand Russell
“Without exhaustive debate, even heated debate, of ideas and programs, free government would weaken and wither. But if we allow ourselves to be persuaded that every individual or party that takes issue with our own convictions is necessarily wicked or treasonous then, indeed, we are approaching the end of freedom’s road.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing… My own take is this: the Republican takeover of the presidency combined with an unrelenting state of war, has supplied all the levers necessary to convert a burgeoning libertarian movement into a statist one.”
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
“Today’s Conservatives Are Fascists: Torture, dictatorship, phony `elections,’ and endless war – it’s fascism with a `democratic’ face”
Justin Raimondo

– The Dangerous American Fascist –

“The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power…

Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion…

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Henry A. Wallace, 1944

– Economic Fascism –

“When most people hear the word `fascism’ they naturally think of its ugly racism and anti-Semitism as practiced by the totalitarian regimes of Mussolini and Hitler. But there was also an economic policy component of fascism, known in Europe during the 1920s and ’30s as “corporatism,” that was an essential ingredient of economic totalitarianism as practiced by Mussolini and Hitler.
So- called corporatism was adopted in Italy and Germany during the 1930s and was held up as a “model” by quite a few intellectuals and policy makers in the United States and Europe. A version of economic fascism was in fact adopted in the United States in the 1930s and survives to this day…
So-called “corporatism”… stands in stark contrast to the classical liberal idea that individuals have natural rights that pre-exist government; that government derives its “just powers” only through the consent of the governed; and that the principal function of government is to protect the lives, liberties, and properties of its citizens, not to aggrandize the state.
Mussolini viewed these liberal ideas (in the European sense of the word “liberal”) as the antithesis of fascism: “The Fascist conception of life,” Mussolini wrote, “stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State. It is opposed to classical liberalism [which] denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual.” Mussolini thought it was unnatural for a government to protect individual rights: “The maxim that society exists only for the well-being and freedom of the individuals composing it does not seem to be in conformity with nature’s plans.” “If classical liberalism spells individualism,” Mussolini continued, “Fascism spells government.”
Another result of the close “collaboration” between business and government in Italy was `a continual interchange of personnel between the. . . civil service and private business.’ Because of this `revolving door’ between business and government, Mussolini had `created a state within the state to serve private interests which are not always in harmony with the general interests of the nation.’ Mussolini’s `revolving door’ swung far and wide…
The whole idea behind collectivism in general and fascism in particular is to make citizens subservient to the state and to place power over resource allocation in the hands of a small elite… Such decisions should be made by a “dominant class” he labeled “the elite.”
Thomas J. DiLorenzo
“It remains to be seen whether the world will revert to fascism. But there are certainly signs that a planet well-stocked with authoritarian capitalist regimes is in the cards. Liberal capitalist nations are becoming more authoritarian under the threat of terrorist attacks… Meanwhile, the globe is well furnished with capitalist setups that were never liberal in the first place, as well as with regimes whose former colonial proprietors exported market forces to their shores while forgetting to include democratic institutions in the cargo. The assumption that the free market and political democracy go together naturally was always pretty dubious, and fascism is one refutation of it.”
Terry Eagleton
“Perhaps the most serious threat of `galloping conservatism’ is that in a time of crisis it could easily be transformed into full-blown fascism. When people are afraid they are susceptible to trading away their civil liberties to protect their `things.’ One of the arch apostles of conservative economics, Milton Freidman, has already said that, given the choice between preserving American constitutional freedoms and the economic freedom to make a dollar without interference, he would choose economic freedom hands down… how tragically ironic if conservative Americans bartered away their constitutional liberties to preserve their affluent lifestyles.”
Tom Sine

“America is a lot closer to fascism today than a free republic.”
Charley Reese
“Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary… does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal.”
Benito Mussolini
“That which the fascists hate above all else, is intelligence.”
Miguel de Unamuno
“Fascism is capitalism in decay.”
Nikolai Lenin

– “Reality” –

“Reality? Well, according to George Bush’s little brother and Florida governor Jeb Bush, some people just can’t handle the truth. Jeb once told retired Naval Intelligence Officer Al Martin: “The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can’t deposit the truth in a bank. You can’t buy groceries with the truth. You can’t pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross — all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another think coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don’t have any money.”
Uri Dowbenko
“There are troubling signs: Republican operatives disrupting a Florida vote recount by force; trashing the Constitution (as well as traditional safeguards of military law of the Geneva Convention) to go after an open-ended category of “terrorists”; the adoption of a frank imperial mindset and pre-emptive war; sympathy in some conservative quarters for violence against abortion clinics and ATF agents; a switch to recount-less, receipt-less, Republican-provided electronic voting systems. But most of this– as well as the quest to give big business everything it wants– is pursued quietly, without fascist trumpeting.”
Robert O. Paxton
“What happened here (Germany) was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”
Milton Mayer
“Why of course the people don’t want war… That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Hermann Goering, Nazi officer

– Books of Interest –
Cap-Com, The Economics Of Balance – Kent Welton
(Click on book cover for Amazon purchase) – This writer’s other sites –
www.OligarchyUSA.com
www.TheCenterForBalance.org
www.EditorFreedom.com
www.PublicCentralBank.com
www.EnclosureUSA.com
www.Growthism.com
www.AntiWarSong.com
www.AbortionFreedom.com
www.CraigWelton.com
www.PanditPressMusic.com
www.EarthCommandments.com
www.PanditPress.com
www.KentWelton.com

<><><>

What is Fascism?

Fascism: the Real Story – excerpted from the book Contrary Notions by Michael Parenti

Fascism – wikipedia.org
What is Fascism – Benito Mussolini, 1932
Fascism – definition, origins, characteristics, fascist state, corporative state
Fascism Anyone? – the 14 characteristics of Fascism
Fascism – characteristics
What is Fascism ?

International Fascism 1920-1945 – by Walter Laqueur and George Mosse
The Rise of Nazism in Germany
Fascism in America
Neo-fascism in America

“fascism – A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

American Heritage Dictionary, 1983

The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism – Chris Hedges

Books

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler – Anthony Sutton

“I am not a dictator. I have only simplified democracy.”

Adolf Hitler

The End of America – Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot – Naomi Wolf

“We will overthrow Parliament in a legal way through legal means. Democracy will be overthrown with the tools of democracy.”

Adolf Hitler

Friendly Fascism – Bertram Gross
The new face of power in America

” Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”

Benito Mussolini

Blowback – Christopher Simpson
America’s recruitment of Nazis, and its disastrous effect on our domestic and foreign policy

” The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power. “

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – on the threat to democracy by corporate power

Trading with the Enemy – Charles Higham
The Nazi – American Money Plot 1933-1949

“The tycoons were linked by an ideology: the ideology of Business as Usual. Bound by identical reactionary ideas, the members sought a common future in fascist domination regardless of which world leader might further that ambition.”

Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy

The Splendid Blond Beast – Christopher Simpson
Money, Law and Genocide in the Twentieth Century

“A number of financial and industrial figures of World War II and several members of the government served the cause of money before the cause of patriotism. While aiding the United States’ war effort, they also aided Nazi Germany’s.”

Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy

The Washington Connection & Third World Fascism – Noam Chomsky & Edward Herman

“Several of the greatest American corporate leaders were in league with Nazi corporations before and after Pearl Harbor, including I.G. Farben, the colossal Nazi industrial trust that created Auschwitz. “

Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy

The American Axis – Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and Rise of Third Reich – Max Wallace

“To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That’s just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them.”

Michael Parenti, author

The “Good German” syndrome

fascism – a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Merriam Webster dictionary

Philosophic Roots of Modern Ideology – Liberalism / Fascism / Nazism

“We stand for the maintenance of private property… We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order.”

Adolph Hitler

Fascism – Past, Present and Future – W Laqueur

“You don’t need a totalitarian dictatorship like Hitler’s to get by with murder … you can do it in a democracy as long as the Congress and the people Congress is supposed to represent don’t give a damn?”

William Shirer

Anatomy of Fascism – Robert O. Paxton

“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. “

Adolp HItler

Fascism- a very short introduction – Kevin Passmore

“It would be easy for us, if we do not learn to understand the world and appreciate the rights, privileges and duties of all other countries and peoples, to represent in our power the same danger to the world that Fascism did.”

Ernest Hemingway

Facts and Fascism – George Seldes – Chapters 1 & 2

“If fascism ever came to the United States, it would be wrapped in an American flag.”

Huey Long

The George Seldes Reader

Twentieth Century Dictatorships

” People need to watch what they say, watch what they do. “

Ari Fleischer, former Bush White House Press Secretary, 2001

“It Can’t Happen Here” – Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel – book review

‘The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims of a big lie than a small one.”

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

The New McCarthyism

The New McCarthyism – The Progressive
The New McCarthyism
The Legacy of McCarthyism
Bringing Back McCarthyism
The New McCarthyism – Resist

“Fascism is on the march today in America. Millionaires are marching to the tune. It will come in this country unless a strong defense is set up by all liberal and progressive forces… A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government, and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. Aboard ship a prominent executive of one of America’s largest financial corporations told me point blank that if the progressive trend of the Roosevelt administration continued, he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism to America.”

former U.S. ambassador to Germany William Dodd in 1938

Silencing Political Dissent
Terrorism and the Constitution
The Law of Posse Comitatus

Articles

The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (book excerpt)
Fascist Trends in the United States
Under Cover: My Four Years in the Nazi Underworld in America
Letter From Italy
Citizen Kane on Steroids – Berlusconi wins, democracy loses in Italy
Fascism’s Face in Genoa
Fascism in Genoa
Mussolini’s Ghost
Bush and Hitler: Is History Repeating Itself?
Inverted Totalitarianism – Bush Administration & transformation to a fascist state
A Whiff of Fascism
Fear Can Turn Us All Into ‘Good Germans.’ – We Must Resist It (2/02)
Support for Hitler (or Fascism) in the United States (12/04)
The Good Germans (Nazi Era) And The Good Americans (Today) (3/04)
The Longest Hatred – the Jews (10/04)
Good Americans and the Good Germans under Hitler (2/05)
Fascism then. Fascism now? (11/05)
Echoes of Fascism: Rhetoric We’ve Heard Before (2/06)
The US and the Nazis (2/06)
American Fascism Is on the Rise (10/06)
Power to the People (In Suits) – How a whole new kind of business lobby is a threat to democracy (11/06)
Fascist America in 10 easy steps (4/07)
Blueprint for Dictatorship (4/07)
Hitler’s Carmaker: The Inside Story of How General Motors Helped Mobilize the Third Reich (5/07)
Imperialism and Fascism are on the Rise in the USA (7/07)
Fascist America, in 10 easy steps (8/07)
“Amerika Über Alles” – Our Nazi Nation (10/07)
Remembering the Hollywood 10 (10/07)
“The End of America”: Naomi Wolf Warns U.S. in Slow Descent into Fascism – Amy Goodman interview (11/07)
Creeping Fascism: Lessons From the Past (12/07)
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade – A profile in courage, honor and hope (12/07)
Has America become Fascist? (7/08)
A Little Red Light on Israeli Fascism (4/09)
Fascism Needs an Enemy [Israel] (7/09)
Fascist America: Are We There Yet? (8/09)

COINTELPRO

Domestic covert action in US (COINTELPRO) in the 60s

“No other democratic country in the world denies as many people – in absolute or proportional terms – the right to vote because of felony convictions.”

Human Rights Watch – “World Report 1999, United States”


Domestic covert action in US in the 70s

“More than I00 countries have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice … Against the global trend towards abolition, however, the U.S.A. has relentlessly increased its rate of executions and the number of crimes punishable by death.”

Amnesty International “United States of America- Rights for All,” October 1998


Domestic covert action in US in the 80s

” The USA has been quick to voice its condemnation of human rights violations in some other countries and to stress, by contrast, the wealth of civil and political rights which it guarantees within its borders . . . however, it has failed to deliver these rights to many of its people and there are signs that, unless urgent steps are taken, these rights will be further eroded . “

Amnesty International


Domestic covert action in US in the 90s


Democracy and Society

Home Page

<><><>

Fascist America: Are We There Yet?

by Sara Robinson, OurFuture.org

http://www.commondreams.org/, August 9, 2009

All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history’s worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who’d made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?

And every time this question got asked, people like Chip Berlet and Dave Neiwert and Fred Clarkson and yours truly would look up from our maps like a parent on a long drive, and smile a wan smile of reassurance. “Wellll…we’re on a bad road, and if we don’t change course, we could end up there soon enough. But there’s also still plenty of time and opportunity to turn back. Watch, but don’t worry. As bad as this looks: no — we are not there yet.”

In tracking the mileage on this trip to perdition, many of us relied on the work of historian Robert Paxton, who is probably the world’s pre-eminent scholar on the subject of how countries turn fascist. In a 1998 paper published in The Journal of Modern History, Paxton argued that the best way to recognize emerging fascist movements isn’t by their rhetoric, their politics, or their aesthetics. Rather, he said, mature democracies turn fascist by a recognizable process, a set of five stages that may be the most important family resemblance that links all the whole motley collection of 20th Century fascisms together. According to our reading of Paxton’s stages, we weren’t there yet. There were certain signs — one in particular — we were keeping an eye out for, and we just weren’t seeing it.

And now we are. In fact, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s suddenly everywhere. It’s odd that I haven’t been asked for quite a while; but if you asked me today, I’d tell you that if we’re not there right now, we’ve certainly taken that last turn into the parking lot and are now looking for a space. Either way, our fascist American future now looms very large in the front windshield — and those of us who value American democracy need to understand how we got here, what’s changing now, and what’s at stake in the very near future if these people are allowed to win — or even hold their ground.

What is fascism?_The word has been bandied about by so many people so wrongly for so long that, as Paxton points out, “Everybody is somebody else’s fascist.” Given that, I always like to start these conversations by revisiting Paxton’s essential definition of the term:

“Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline.”

Elsewhere, he refines this further as

“a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Jonah Goldberg aside, that’s a basic definition most legitimate scholars in the field can agree on, and the one I’ll be referring to here.

From proto-fascism to the tipping point_According to Paxton, fascism unfolds in five stages. The first two are pretty solidly behind us — and the third should be of particular interest to progressives right now.

In the first stage, a rural movement emerges to effect some kind of nationalist renewal (what Roger Griffin calls “palingenesis” — a phoenix-like rebirth from the ashes). They come together to restore a broken social order, always drawing on themes of unity, order, and purity. Reason is rejected in favor of passionate emotion. The way the organizing story is told varies from country to country; but it’s always rooted in the promise of restoring lost national pride by resurrecting the culture’s traditional myths and values, and purging society of the toxic influence of the outsiders and intellectuals who are blamed for their current misery.

Fascism only grows in the disturbed soil of a mature democracy in crisis. Paxton suggests that the Klu Klux Klan, which formed in reaction to post-Civil War Reconstruction, may in fact be the first authentically fascist movement in modern times. Almost every major country in Europe sprouted a proto-fascist movement in the wretched years following WWI (when the Klan enjoyed a major resurgence here as well) — but most of them stalled either at this first stage, or the next one.

As Rick Perlstein documented in his two books on Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, modern American conservatism was built on these same themes. From “Morning in America” to the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it’s easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it’s blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn’t have a moment’s shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.

In the second stage, fascist movements take root, turn into real political parties, and seize their seat at the table of power. Interestingly, in every case Paxton cites, the political base came from the rural, less-educated parts of the country; and almost all of them came to power very specifically by offering themselves as informal goon squads organized to intimidate farmworkers on behalf of the large landowners. The KKK disenfranchised black sharecroppers and set itself up as the enforcement wing of Jim Crow. The Italian Squadristi and the German Brownshirts made their bones breaking up farmers’ strikes. And these days, GOP-sanctioned anti-immigrant groups make life hell for Hispanic agricultural workers in the US. As violence against random Hispanics (citizens and otherwise) increases, the right-wing goon squads are getting basic training that, if the pattern holds, they may eventually use to intimidate the rest of us.

Paxton wrote that succeeding at the second stage “depends on certain relatively precise conditions: the weakness of a liberal state, whose inadequacies condemn the nation to disorder, decline, or humiliation; and political deadlock because the Right, the heir to power but unable to continue to wield it alone, refuses to accept a growing Left as a legitimate governing partner.” He further noted that Hitler and Mussolini both took power under these same circumstances: “deadlock of constitutional government (produced in part by the polarization that the fascists abetted); conservative leaders who felt threatened by the loss of their capacity to keep the population under control at a moment of massive popular mobilization; an advancing Left; and conservative leaders who refused to work with that Left and who felt unable to continue to govern against the Left without further reinforcement.”

And more ominously: “The most important variables…are the conservative elites’ willingness to work with the fascists (along with a reciprocal flexibility on the part of the fascist leaders) and the depth of the crisis that induces them to cooperate.”

That description sounds eerily like the dire straits our Congressional Republicans find themselves in right now. Though the GOP has been humiliated, rejected, and reduced to rump status by a series of epic national catastrophes mostly of its own making, its leadership can’t even imagine governing cooperatively with the newly mobilized and ascendant Democrats. Lacking legitimate routes back to power, their last hope is to invest the hardcore remainder of their base with an undeserved legitimacy, recruit them as shock troops, and overthrow American democracy by force. If they can’t win elections or policy fights, they’re more than willing to take it to the streets, and seize power by bullying Americans into silence and complicity.

When that unholy alliance is made, the third stage — the transition to full-fledged government fascism — begins.

The third stage: being there_All through the Bush years, progressive right-wing watchers refused to call it “fascism” because, though we kept looking, we never saw clear signs of a deliberate, committed institutional partnership forming between America’s conservative elites and its emerging homegrown brownshirt horde. We caught tantalizing signs of brief flirtations — passing political alliances, money passing hands, far-right moonbat talking points flying out of the mouths of “mainstream” conservative leaders. But it was all circumstantial, and fairly transitory. The two sides kept a discreet distance from each other, at least in public. What went on behind closed doors, we could only guess. They certainly didn’t act like a married couple.

Now, the guessing game is over. We know beyond doubt that the Teabag movement was created out of whole cloth by astroturf groups like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks and Tim Phillips’ Americans for Prosperity, with massive media help from FOX News. We see the Birther fracas — the kind of urban myth-making that should have never made it out of the pages of the National Enquirer — being openly ratified by Congressional Republicans. We’ve seen Armey’s own professionally-produced field manual that carefully instructs conservative goon squads in the fine art of disrupting the democratic governing process — and the film of public officials being terrorized and threatened to the point where some of them required armed escorts to leave the building. We’ve seen Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to “a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress.”

This is the sign we were waiting for — the one that tells us that yes, kids: we are there now. America’s conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country’s legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America’s streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won’t do their political or economic bidding.

This is the catalyzing moment at which honest-to-Hitler fascism begins. It’s also our very last chance to stop it.

The fail-safe point_according to Paxton, the forging of this third-stage alliance is the make-or-break moment — and the worst part of it is that by the time you’ve arrived at that point, it’s probably too late to stop it. From here, it escalates, as minor thuggery turns into beatings, killings, and systematic tagging of certain groups for elimination, all directed by people at the very top of the power structure. After Labor Day, when Democratic senators and representatives go back to Washington, the mobs now being created to harass them will remain to run the same tactics — escalated and perfected with each new use — against anyone in town whose color, religion, or politics they don’t like. In some places, they’re already making notes and taking names.

Where’s the danger line? Paxton offers three quick questions that point us straight at it:

1. Are [neo- or protofascisms] becoming rooted as parties that represent major interests and feelings and wield major influence on the political scene?

2. Is the economic or constitutional system in a state of blockage apparently insoluble by existing authorities?

3. Is a rapid political mobilization threatening to escape the control of traditional elites, to the point where they would be tempted to look for tough helpers in order to stay in charge?

By my reckoning, we’re three for three. That’s too close. Way too close.

The Road Ahead_History tells us that once this alliance catalyzes and makes a successful bid for power, there’s no way off this ride. As Dave Neiwert wrote in his recent book, The Eliminationists, “if we can only identify fascism in its mature form-the goose-stepping brownshirts, the full-fledged use of violence and intimidation tactics, the mass rallies-then it will be far too late to stop it.” Paxton (who presciently warned that “An authentic popular fascism in the United States would be pious and anti-Black”) agrees that if a corporate/brownshirt alliance gets a toehold — as ours is now scrambling to do — it can very quickly rise to power and destroy the last vestiges of democratic government. Once they start racking up wins, the country will be doomed to take the whole ugly trip through the last two stages, with no turnoffs or pit stops between now and the end.

What awaits us? In stage four, as the duo assumes full control of the country, power struggles emerge between the brownshirt-bred party faithful and the institutions of the conservative elites — church, military, professions, and business. The character of the regime is determined by who gets the upper hand. If the party members (who gained power through street thuggery) win, an authoritarian police state may well follow. If the conservatives can get them back under control, a more traditional theocracy, corporatocracy, or military regime can re-emerge over time. But in neither case will the results resemble the democracy that this alliance overthrew.

Paxton characterizes stage five as “radicalization or entropy.” Radicalization is likely if the new regime scores a big military victory, which consolidates its power and whets its appetite for expansion and large-scale social engineering. (See: Germany) In the absence of a radicalizing event, entropy may set in, as the state gets lost in its own purposes and degenerates into incoherence. (See: Italy)

It’s so easy right now to look at the melee on the right and discount it as pure political theater of the most absurdly ridiculous kind. It’s a freaking puppet show. These people can’t be serious. Sure, they’re angry — but they’re also a minority, out of power and reduced to throwing tantrums. Grown-ups need to worry about them about as much as you’d worry about a furious five-year-old threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue.

Unfortunately, all the noise and bluster actually obscures the danger. These people are as serious as a lynch mob, and have already taken the first steps toward becoming one. And they’re going to walk taller and louder and prouder now that their bumbling efforts at civil disobedience are being committed with the full sanction and support of the country’s most powerful people, who are cynically using them in a last-ditch effort to save their own places of profit and prestige.

We’ve arrived. We are now parked on the exact spot where our best experts tell us full-blown fascism is born. Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we’re slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return.


Fascism

Home Page

<><><>

THE FASCIST STATE OF AMERICA IS IRREFUTABLE


America as a Fascist State Fosters Socialism, Capitalism, Communism and Above all Totalitarianism.


Fascism is an ideology that believes in the superiority of the nation and race over the individual.

In a fascist state, the government is centralized and autocratic and is headed by a dictatorial leader, stringent economic and social regimentation and prohibition and suppression of all criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.

History saw countless episodes of fascism in the world.

Most renowned are the regimes of Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany.

These two leaders made history with their ambition and completely shook the world to terror.

A fascist state generally believes in violence, particularly between different races.

The fascists believe that only the strong can survive as they assert themselves through war with the weak.

While fascism is looked upon with scorn today, and while the basic philosophy behind it has been neatly camouflaged, fascism still drives the modern ruler; it is still prevalent with the governments today, and while it does not expose itself openly, its ugly countenance shows itself once in a while.

CANNONS OF FASCISM

Nationalism, authoritarianism, social Darwinism, social intervention, indoctrination, National corporatism, national socialism and national syndicalism, foreign policy, Economic planning, Social welfare, etc., are some of the core tenets of fascism, as it entered the world.

The fascist state found its roots, after the World War II. An offshoot of the supposed notions of the weaknesses of democracy, liberalism and Marxism, fascism believes in nationalism as opposed to individualism or internationalism.

Fascism may also arise out of religion, cultural and race differences, bringing about racism and racialism amongst different groups. Today, it exists as a pejorative term after the consequences of World War I.

AMERICA AND FASCISM

Fascism has been seen, to slowly penetrate into the United States of America. The condition of America, the political and economic scenario both depicts America’s slow but definite movement towards fascism.

So far, America seems to have inherited all the features of fascism. The government of America, as we know has powers which are unlimited. Government authority has replaced the Constitutional authority. The president is the supreme leader with imperial powers.

America’s mounting public debt is also a consequence of fascism as it stands today at a staggering amount of $11 trillion. Not only is the money is spent on military, but also spent on social programs and projects to stimulate the economy.

Appearing truly fascist in nature, America, like any fascist state, glorifies capitalism and denounces socialism. Capitalism and socialism are obviously co-existing in the United States. The government has made certain that capitalism functions smoothly and efficiently.

America also seems to be showing signs of racism against the 1.5 million Iraqis who were killed during the ‘war on terror.’ America seems to be as fascist as Germany under Hitler and Italy under Mussolini.

EXTENT OF FASCISM IN AMERICA

Indeed we don’t burn books, nor do we restrict the press and radio stations; indeed we do not interrupt, terrify of loot the bourgeoisie, however, we cannot ignore the fact that, in a post socialist era, American fascism is budding.

Here, international capitalists have absolute freedom to wipe out the welfare state. Due to historical circumstances, America’s Fascism has within itself the impending possibility for an outrageous and unnatural totalitarianism.

Solutions | Related Articles | Reply (0 comments)

http://www.truth-it.net/fascist_state.html

<><><>

Economic Fascism and the Bailout Economy

by Gary North
by Gary North

I have lived through three monumental historical events. I remember only two of them.

I do not remember the dropping of the two atomic bombs in August of 1945. As symbols of scientific world transformation, this constituted the most momentous event of the 20th century. This breakthrough, so far, has not led to nuclear war, even though on several occasions, it looked as though nuclear war was a distinct possibility. Nevertheless, the arrival of the nuclear age heralded a transformation of the modern world. We have not yet seen the end of that transformation.

Martin van Creveld, the great military historian in the State of Israel, has argued that the nuclear age ruined the plans of empire for large nations. They could no longer risk a war with each other. Yet spending on empire increased. Today, large states face resistance from non-State groups. The Soviet Union went down when the Afghans beat them by using Stinger missiles. The USSR was an empire, and an empire that loses to insurgents has lost its reason for existence.

We are about to experience a similar defeat in the same country.

There have been two other major events since 1945. I suppose most people would agree on at least one of them: the collapse of the Soviet Union, August 19–21, 1991. While the collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989 was the symbolic evidence of the collapse of the Soviet empire, that did not become clear until August of 1991. Historically, there has been nothing to match that disintegration. No empire that large ever collapsed that fast without bloodshed. I was here to see it.

There are old-line anti-Communists who still insist that it was all fake, that it is all a deception, that the Communists are still running the show in Russia. They do not understand the difference between fascism and Communism. The Russian system is fascist to the core: State-run capitalism.

We are now seeing what hard-core liberals always predicted would happen: the economic convergence of the two systems, USA and USSR. The system of economic convergence is fascism. That was what the liberals always wanted, but called it something else: “economic democracy” or “the government-business alliance.”

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008

The second event that I regard as almost comparable in importance to the collapse of the Soviet Union was the collapse of the American banking system that took place in September and October of 2008.

No one saw that collapse coming in August. The senior rulers of the United States – I do not mean politicians – have watched in horror as institutions that had survived since the mid-19th century went down: investment banks. These were banks that did not take deposits from the general public. They pooled large quantities of capital from private, wealthy investors. Within a matter of weeks, that business model collapsed. The investment banks scrambled to restructure their legal operations so as to be defined as commercial banks and therefore become eligible for the Federal bailout money. Meanwhile, huge commercial banks almost went bankrupt. They did not go bankrupt only because of government intervention and because larger banks absorbed them. Wachovia went down. Washington Mutual went down. The share prices of the two largest banks in the United States, the Bank of America and Citigroup, are still close to penny share status.

Anyone who does not understand the magnitude of what is taking place is an economic ignoramus. I have plenty of these ignorami contacting me, telling me it was all planned by the insiders. The conspiracy has won again! In their worldview, the conspiracy always wins. That is because they believe that the conspiracy has the attributes of God. It is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Here is their intellectual problem. They do not believe in the free market. They cannot conceive of a social institution based on voluntarism that can break the backs of government planners and central bankers. They will believe anything but this. They think of themselves as defenders of the free market. But they do not grasp the power of the free market to enforce consumers’ decisions.

The conspiracy of well-placed insiders is now tottering. The whole structure of the national American political system has rested on the solvency of the largest American banks. These banks have all been called into question. They are now gutted.

The thought that commercial bank insiders actively demolished trillions of dollars of their own equity as part of a conspiratorial plan is so imbecilic, so outrageous, so ludicrous, that I am convinced that these conspiracy worshippers have lost whatever remained of their minds. They have been gutted intellectually, just as the banks have been gutted financially.

Some of them probably think that Communists still run Russia. Ex-Communists do: bureaucrats, mobsters, and KGB agents. But Communism is dead. How do I know? Look at a map of Russia. Look for the old names: Stalingrad and Leningrad. Gone. Maps tell a great deal about a civilization. Russian maps tell us that Communism is dead.

The American conspirators have lost the one thing that they thought they had: control over the nation and the nation’s finances by means of the fractional reserve banking system. That system is coming unglued, just as Ludwig von Mises said it would, just as Murray Rothbard said it would, and just as those other Austrian economists who understand the enormous weakness of the fractional reserve system had said would eventually take place.

I wonder sometimes if there is anything coherent remaining in what is generally called the conservative movement. Do any of these people have a clue as to what has been taking place? We are seeing the disintegration of the fractional reserve banking system all over the world. It is being held together by bailouts, which are the government equivalent of bailing wire and chewing gum.

The only thing holding the whole structure together is an enormous residual faith in the State and a naïve faith that deficits don’t matter. That phrase is associated with supply-side conservatives and the vast majority of those people who call themselves Chicago School economists. Supply-siders said it, and Chicago School economists cautiously chimed in, “Someday, maybe deficits will matter, but not soon. At the margin – this year, next year, and until I am dead – deficits don’t matter.” It has been the Austrian School economists who have warned, decade after decade, that the increase in the Federal debt would eventually threaten the solvency of the government and the stability of the dollar. Now that this is visibly coming true, we still do not hear from professional economists cries of warning regarding trillion-dollar annual Federal deficits. They say nothing, except when they say it is a good idea, because it is necessary, because we have got to save the banks, because we have got to regulate the economy, and, most of all, because the unhampered free market system really does not work. This is what we are getting from people who have generally been known as free market economists. They are lining up as cheerleaders as the banks go to the Federal trough. The Federal deficit soars into astronomical regions, and the monetary base soars just as fast, yet the academic economists are silent. This is not the silence of the lambs; this is a silence of unindicted co-conspirators, most of whom teach in tax-supported universities and spend their careers writing unreadable articles in unread academic journals in order to get tenure, so that the taxpayers can never fire them. These people are apologists for the State. Most of them have been on a public payroll all of their lives. These are the people who, in the name of conservative free-market principles, are supposed to stand in the gap to warn us that the ship of state is going over the falls.

Don’t hold your breath.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

What can be done about it? Politically, nothing. The American political system has been soft-core fascist for almost a century. Liberals love to call conservatives fascists. The problem is, the liberals are right. Of course, well-informed conservatives like to call liberals fascists, and they are correct, too. Everyone who believes in the efficiency of the so-called government-business alliance is a fascist.

The fascist State was always an attempt to control private industry by means of inflation, taxation, and regulation. Fascism was always a system of keeping the big boys alive and happy at the expense of the taxpayers. Of course, the faces changed. The system was always one gigantic system of cartels, regulation, and fiat money. It was, in short, everything that the critics of modern capitalism say is wrong with capitalism. This is why John Maynard Keynes wrote this in his Foreword to the German edition of his General Theory (1936).

The theory of aggregated production, which is the point of the following book, nevertheless can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state [eines totalen Staates] than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under conditions of free competition and a large degree of laissez-faire. This is one of the reasons that justifies the fact that I call my theory a general theory.

The modern economic system is one gigantic interlocking system of promised bailouts, beginning with Social Security. In commerce, it is a system designed to keep large producers protected from consumers. It has never been anything else ever since the national political triumph of the Progressive movement in the fateful year of 1912. In that year, the three candidates for President were statists to the core, all followers of the Progressivist doctrines, all advocates of central banking, and all happy to see the Federal government expand control over business throughout the country, and throughout the world.

This is not the story we get in the history textbooks, because the textbook writers love what was done in 1912 and subsequently. The public school system has taught that this was the salvation of capitalism ever since.

We are now seeing the unraveling of the entire system, all over the world. Whatever happens from this point on, economic production will be hampered by ever-increasing regulation. The government is now intervening to save the banks, which means that the banks are beholden to the government.

President Obama has said that senior bank officials are not going to be able to receive more than $500,000 a year. They are not going to get money from stock options until the government gets its money back. I think this is great. My only regret is that he didn’t say it was $250,000 year. Or maybe $100,000 year. Or maybe about $50,000 a year. Let them live in New York City on that! The whole crew should resign and go into some decent line of work.

Fractional reserve banking has been a con job from the beginning. Rothbard and Mises pointed this out, and they were hated for it. The economists trust bureaucracy. They trust people with Ph.D.’s, just like themselves. But, except at the Federal Reserve, the agencies are run by lawyers and by appointees who hope to get a fat lobbying salary when they leave the government. Why should we think that a bunch of Harvard- and Yale-educated lawyers, who were recruited by New York City banks that were always protected by the Federal Reserve System, would have any idea of how to run an economy? We now know how well they could run the economy. They stripped off million-dollar bonuses for running the system over the falls.

Is not going to get much better. The banks are gutted. The best and the brightest graduates will not be going to go into banking for as long as there is a $500,000 cap on salaries, if Obama gets his way.

As far as I am concerned, the pay cap should be forever. And when the bank-created inflation comes, the government should not change this salary cap to let them benefit by getting a cost-of-living escalator clause. Their predecessors knew how to get rich under a manipulated currency. A far as I’m concerned, their replacements should get poorer the same way.

For over a century, the best and the brightest of the students graduating from the senior universities of the country have been recruited into big government and fractional reserve banking. In other words, they relied on coercion to get rich personally and to direct the growth of American capitalism. They got rich, and capitalism grew, but it grew in terms of malinvestments. It grew because the fiat money was used to lower interest rates, and these lower interest rates led to malinvested capital. Mises showed how this system operated as early as 1912.

Ever since September of 2008, we have seen the fruits of the fiat money roots that Mises warned against almost a century ago. But modern free-market economists are as hostile to Mises’s theory of the business cycle as they were hostile to Mises’s theory of the economic irrationalism of socialism . . . until the Soviet Union fell. Then, they got religion, but they still never mention Mises. It was as if he had never lived.

Mises? Who is Mises? Yes, the Soviet Union went bankrupt. We didn’t think it would in 1986. Except for that lucky guesser Judy Shelton, nobody predicted that it would. We told people that the Soviet Union had remarkable economic growth. Yes, it turned out that the Soviet Union was nothing but Bangladesh with missiles, just as journalist Richard Grenier said in the 1980’s. We did not see this at the time. Still, we will take credit for its collapse anyway: the new capitalism defeated it. We will continue to praise the regulated fascist economy that the United States has been over the last hundred years, and call for more of the same. We love economic efficiency, because efficiency lets the State get larger. When people get richer, they can pay more taxes.

This is why academic economists are demanding even more Federal spending to bail out the banks and the other institutions associated with high finance. Almost to a man, they are saying that the bailouts are necessary. Why? Because they have been great proponents of the mixed economy ever since John Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory in 1936. More than this: ever since the real mentor of American fascist banking, Irving Fisher, back in 1911.

Fisher almost went bankrupt in the Great Depression, yet he is still revered as the greatest economist in American history. He was a fiat money man from day one. He believed that the government and the central bank could control the economy by means of monetary policy. He was the great apologist of the corrupt monetary system which we now suffer from. An academic, he was the high priest. Milton Friedman was little more than an acolyte to Irving Fisher on the money question.

NOMINAL RECOVERY

There is real recovery and nominal recovery – recovery in terms of rising prices. Rising wages and rising prices give the illusion of prosperity.

Always in the past, there has been a recovery after a recession. Always in the past, the bailouts have worked to cover up the underlying malinvested capital. Always in the past, the Federal Reserve has inflated, and the economy revived.

This economy will revive, but it will revive on a new basis. It is no longer possible for someone who understands Austrian School economics to look at this economy as anything remotely resembling a free-market economy. At the very core of the free-market economy, as Mises said in 1912, is the monetary system. That system is now completely and openly run by a cartel that is now trapped by the Federal government. The Federal Reserve System is soon going to have to bail out the Federal government. The Federal government is bailing out the commercial banks, and if the Federal government cannot bail out the banks, the Federal Reserve has got to do it directly. In either case, the banks are busted. The capital is gone: wasted. The money is still in people’s bank accounts, but the fiat-money-funded projects have turned out to be losers. The skyscrapers are empty. The recovery is going to be a nominal recovery, based on the digits known as dollars. These digits are going to be produced in such massive quantities that prices will shoot up as never before in peacetime America. It is going to be the destruction of the dollar.

Austrian School economists have been predicting this for years, but now we have the Federal Reserve on our side. We can look at the adjusted monetary base, and we can see what is going to happen. Unless the Federal Reserve System raises the reserve requirement, thereby undermining the profitability of the entire banking system, and thereby busting hundreds of banks, including some big ones, the adjusted monetary base is going to be translated into real money. That real money is going to get spent. When it gets spent, it is going to raise prices.

We are seeing the culmination of a century of bad economic policies. Academic economists never sounded the alarm after 1936. They did not sound the alarm because they are the paid agents of the State, certified by earlier generations of paid agents of the State. The State has paid for the services of these men and women, and they perform accordingly. They understand the fundamental rule: “When you take the king’s shilling, you do the king’s bidding.”

The next college-level economics textbook that exposes the Federal Reserve System as the commercial bank cartel’s enforcement arm will be the first one.

There is no academic hue and cry against the massive deficits of the Federal government and the massive bailouts by the Federal government. Economists are silent because they have been cheerleaders for the Federal Reserve System from day one. For these people, the Federal Reserve can do no wrong today, because it did wrong from 1929 to 1933, and Milton Friedman exposed this for all to see. What was a great evil of the Federal Reserve during that period, according to Friedman? It did not inflate to offset the contraction of money due to collapsing banks.

Friedman hated free market banking. He disparaged the gold standard. He believed in government control over money. At the core of the free market is money. At the core of Friedman’s economics was the State. He just wanted to make the State more efficient.

The academic economists never mention the fact it was the expansionary policies of the Federal Reserve during the 1920’s that led to the collapse of the banking system in the early 1930’s. The FED had been set up so as to prevent any such collapse, and yet that collapse was the worst collapse in American history. Then what is the right approach? What do the economists say should be done? Give more power to the Federal Reserve System. That is exactly what has been done over the last five months, and the academic economists cheer.

The academic economists say that things will recover. They tell us that it will again be business as usual. They tell us that once we get through this crisis, the American economy will boom once again. They believe in the fascist economy. They believe that government regulation is better than the free market. They believe the government-run, bankruptcy-protected banks, which we now openly have, are better than private, profit-seeking institutions that are not protected by a government-created cartel called the Federal Reserve System. They believe in fascism, and they are going to tell you that everything is fine as the fascist State extends power over every aspect of our lives.

BROKEN PROMISES, WANING FAITH

Do I see this as the end of freedom? No, I see it is the end of the fascist State. The monstrosity came close to going belly-up last October. It is on its last, tottering legs. It has lost respect of the public.

The politicians are even convinced the banks were run by a bunch of corrupt, self-serving men, which was in fact the case. What government-protected industry isn’t? But that was not why the bankers lost money. They were lured by Alan Greenspan’s policies of easy money and low interest rates into believing that the boom was real, and that they could leverage themselves 30 to one or 40 to one and get paid for their wisdom. They were high-paid suckers. The Austrian School economists warned all through the period that this was going to happen. We were all dismissed as cranks.

As the Internet grows in its influence, alternative views can get to a minority of educated people. The success of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in getting Austrian School economics in front of hundreds of thousands of young people, all over the world, who would never have heard about Mises or Rothbard had it not been for the World Wide Web, indicates that the foundations of the modern fascist economy are being undermined where it counts, which is in the minds of bright people who are no longer buying into the system.

In the long run, Keynes was right: the economic policies of politicians today are based on the writings of some obscure economist in the past. Those two economists were Irving Fisher and John Maynard Keynes. Their world is now toppling. Through their disciples, they are like a pair of drunks staggering along, holding up each other. Keynes wanted deficit spending. Fisher wanted a banking system that would cover these deficits.

The money from the central banking system funds the Treasury, and the Treasury in turn bails out the big commercial banks – no longer nearly so big. Everything is based on a daisy chain of digits. Meanwhile, unemployment is rising, production is falling, fear is spreading, loss of faith is spreading, and tens of thousands of formerly highly paid specialists in finance are looking for jobs. This is not a matter of a conspiracy; this is a matter of the free market finally voting no against the conspirators.

There are conservatives who think that all is lost because of the conspiracy. These are people who never did anything anyway. They do not see that we are at the end of an era. We are seeing the culmination of a 500-year era. Jacques Barzun titled his great history of this era, From Dawn to Decadence. We are seeing what Martin Van Creveld called the fall of the state, meaning the nation-state.

These scholars agree: we are seeing the bankruptcy of every Western government that has made too many big promises to too many voters regarding free healthcare and guaranteed retirement. All of it will collapse. The tatters of the promises will point to the tatters of those who made the promises – politicians – and the tatters of the system that supposedly was going to guarantee delivery of the promises.

The academics still believe in the healing power of the State. The voters still believe this, too. But voters are catching on more rapidly than the academics that the State is running out of wiggle room. Millions of voters have figured out that they are going to get stiffed. They don’t know what to do about it, but at least they understand that they really are going to get stiffed.

The academics say “no.” They keep telling all of us that everything is okay, that a few more trillion-dollar deficits will solve the problem. The doubling of the monetary base in 2009 will have no more disruptive effects than the doubling of the monetary base did in the second half of 2008. They tell us all this, but the public is either oblivious, or else is growing suspicious.

We will have another round or two of centralized government, and probably more than one or two rounds of increased monetary expansion. But what we will not have is a restoration of anything resembling the financial world that existed prior to September 2008. That world is gone. The insiders will not get it back. They may get an imitation of it, based on fiat money that does not buy very much, but they will not see the world of 2007 restored. The power base of the modern fascist State is unraveling rapidly.

This is why it is important for you to preserve your assets by not believing the official assurances. Put your money where the experts tell you that you should not put your money. You should take your money out of those segments of the economy into which the experts say you should put your money, and will soon boom. They have ignored the fact that the stock market has been a losing case since March of 2000. They would not admit it then; they will not admit it now. Anybody who bought and held a portfolio of indexed American stocks in March of 2000 has lost well over half of his money. Investors will learn, even though academic economists will not.

CONCLUSION

What I am saying is this: this time it’s different. This time, the fractional reserve banking system has shot its wad. It is begging for ever-larger handouts from the Treasury Department, which needs central bank fiat money to bail out the economy. The public is accepting this grudgingly, and the academic economists are cheering, but the reality is this: this time it’s different. You had better adjust your portfolio, your career plans, and your retirement plans accordingly.

February 7, 2009

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

Copyright © 2009 LewRockwell.com

<><><>

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 by CommonDreams.org

The Rise of Fascism in America

by Gary Alan Scott

Fascism in America won�t come with jackboots, book burnings, mass rallies, and fevered harangues, nor will it come with black helicopters or tanks on the street. It won�t come like a storm�but as a break in the weather, that sudden change of season you might feel when the wind shifts on an October evening: Everything is the same, but everything has changed. Something has gone, departed from the world, and a new reality will have taken its place. All the old forms will still be there: legislatures, elections, campaigns�plenty of bread and circuses. But �consent of the governed� will no longer apply; actual control of the state will have passed to a small and privileged group who rule for the benefit of their wealthy peers and corporate patrons.

To be sure, there will be factional conflicts among the elite, and a degree of debate will be permitted; but no one outside the privileged circle will be allowed to influence state policy. Dissidents will be marginalized�usually by �the people� themselves. Deprived of historical knowledge by a thoroughly impoverished educational system designed to produce complacent consumers, left ignorant of current events by a corporate media devoted solely to profit, many will internalize the force-fed values of the ruling elite, and act accordingly. There will be little need for overt methods of control.

The rulers will act in secret, for reasons of �national security,� and the people will not be permitted to know what goes on in their name. Actions once unthinkable will be accepted as routine: government by executive fiat, state murder of �enemies� selected by the leader, undeclared wars, torture, mass detentions without charge, the looting of the national treasury, the creation of huge new �security structures� targeted at the populace. In time, this will be seen as �normal,� as the chill of autumn feels normal when summer is gone. It will all seem normal.

–Chris Floyd, November 10, 2001 Moscow Times (English edition)

Since the 1970�s, American businesses have grown larger and more monopolistic, helped along by deregulation, the repeal of anti-trust laws, and a steady transformation from manufacturing to capital management (dare I say, �capital manipulation�?). As Paul Bigioni puts it in his excellent essay entitled �The Real Threat of Fascism�: �If we are to protect ourselves from the growing political influence of Big Business, then our antitrust laws must be reconceived in a way which recognizes the political danger of monopolistic conditions.�

Bigioni continues by emphasizing that �Antitrust laws do not just protect the marketplace, they protect democracy.� It is well to remember that conditions like these led to fascism in both Germany and Italy in the 1930�s, and Bigioni points out that the transformation toward fascism occurred in both countries while they were still liberal democracies. In America, since at least 1971, the rich have gotten much, much richer and the poor have become poorer and far more numerous, largely because our government now sees its primary function as serving the interests of Big Business and its Big Money. As of 2003, according to a Congressional Budget Office report, the top one percent of households in America accounted for 57.5% of America�s wealth, up from 38.7% only twelve years earlier. And this does not take into account the last three years of the Bush tax-cuts. In the U.S. today, there are 374 billionaires, approximately 25,000 deca-millionaires ($10,000,000-$999,000,000) and 2.5 million millionaires; and this does not even take into account the wealth of corporations! Under such conditions, competition is minimized or thwarted, and capital is exalted over labor, the consummation of Marx�s contention that �Capital is dead labor.�

In every industry, huge monopolistic cartels dominate the playing field, following the spate of mergers and acquisitions throughout the 1980�s and 1990�s. To cite just two examples: (1) Four media giants (AOL-Time Warner, Viacom, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch�s NewsGroup) control everything we read, view, listen to, see at movie houses, and do at entertainment parks. Just four conglomerates, which have oh so much in common with one another, produce (for profit) every newspaper, magazine, major internet site, movie, cd, dvd, television program, and so on. The pressure to stay within fairly narrow bounds of covering and the fear of losing one�s job should one �think outside the box� is detailed succinctly in Danny Schechter�s March 27, 2006 column the title of which is taken from a line Edward R. Morrow utters in the movie �Good Night and Good Luck�: �The Fear is in the Room: Inside our Unbrave Media World�; Robert Fisk�s March 19 column, �The Farcical End of the American Dream�; and Bill Gallagher�s March 28th column, �There is No �Good News� in Iraq.”

To note one other example: if Wal-Mart were a country it would have the 19th largest economy in the world!

Do not be hoodwinked by labels here: there was nothing �socialist� about Hitler�s National Socialist Party, despite his clever employment of terms such as �volk� (the people or the folks), �heimat� (homeland), or the solidarity sounding �ein land� (one country)! Likewise, there is no genuinely human freedom in the free market, despite the intoxicating rhetoric of the neo-liberals. Bigioni quotes Thurman Arnold, the head of the Anti-trust section of the Justice Department in 1939:

�Germany, of course, has developed within 15 years from an industrial autocracy into a dictatorship. Most people are under the impression that the power of Hitler was the result of his demagogic blandishments and appeals to the mob. . . Actually, Hitler holds his power through the final and inevitable development of the uncontrolled tendency to combine in restraint of trade.� And in another address, Arnold told the American Bar Association that �Germany presents the logical end of the process of cartelization.�

And, of course, every cartel needs a strong leader, a commander-in-chief with an iron fist, And Arnold says that Hitler filled that role, but that if it had not been Hitler, it would have been someone else. (Americans today might draw an analogy: if it were not George W. Bush, the first M.B.A. President, who would serve as the front-man for Big Business, it would be someone else.) Bigioni writes, �Compulsory slave labor was the crowning achievement of Nazi labor relations.� By analogy, Employment-at-Will, the outsourcing of manufacturing and even service jobs, and the rejection of a living wage, is the crowning achievement of American labor relations. (See, for example, Harold Meyerson�s article, �Three Ideas to Radically Reorder Economy� (Providence Journal, March 24, 2006) and Princeton University Professor Alan Blinder�s article in the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs. The disappearance of union jobs, outsourcing and downsizing has been the crowning achievement of American business relations over the past 30 years or so. The other factors contributing to what Bigioni calls �the fascist trajectory� includes low taxes, various forms of corporate welfare, the decimation of small businesses, and the ability of corporations to discharge obligations to employees, to the environment, and to the country as a whole.

In short, the United States is suffocating from the deleterious effects of Big Money interests in virtually every arena, from public political processes to the privatization of much of what belongs to all of us. Corporate advertising secures the pernicious effects. From time to time, one hears a call for public financing of elections, for truth in advertising, and for more regulation and oversight of lobbying activities, but on the whole, Americans seem glib about the way things are, supposing that this is the only way they can be.

The status quo breeds resignation in the citizenry, and this resignation, too, is in large part an effect of Big Business and its Big Money. It keeps ordinary folks and their common sense away from the political arena, which might otherwise force a change in the way things are done. Big Money does everything it can to sour people on political participation, so that the little guys who just don�t know what�s best for themselves or the country will leave matters of governance to the professional ruling class. To formalize this relatively recent reality, it would seem necessary to reword our Constitution to reflect those entities called �corporations,� which have now been deemed �persons� and whose capital is now regarded as a form of �speech.� (See, for example, Jeffrey Kaplan, �Uncivil Liberties: ACLU Defense of �Money=Speech� Precedent Undermines Democracy.�) The United States has become a country �of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation.�

Public financing of elections and campaign expenditure limits are shouted down as communism or socialism, in a manner very similar to Big Money�s cries of �class warfare� when the population at large objects to additional giveaways to the richest few Americans. Big Money (representing a small, elite class) does everything in its power to prevent the American people from awakening to the fact that what it is seeing really is class warfare: warfare that is being waged from the top down, against the poor and what we used to call the �middle class,� which are now subsidizing Big Money interests that control the political agenda and its legislative processes.

The influence of Big Money on U.S. elections cannot be underestimated. (See, for example, Greg Palast’s “Jim Crow in Cyberspace” in The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, the work on election fraud by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, and the recent articles by Warren Stewart “Do You Know How Your Vote Will be Counted?” and Fred Grimm “Election Official Hammered for Telling the Truth”. The problem with the role of money in a supposedly democratic country is not restricted to the many and all-too regular scandals—such as the Abramoff affair or the conviction of Randy “Duke” Cunningham—nor is the problem restricted to the corruption that has ensnared elected officials and exposed lobbyists as little more than bribes makers and bagmen. (See Geov Parrish, “That Old-Fashioned Corruption,” and Katrina vanden Heuvel’s, “Annals of Outrage I, II, and III) It is, rather, that money, as John McCain famously said, “is the mother’s milk of politics” (at least in the U.S. political system.) The need to raise money at every level, from city to state to federal offices, pollutes and perverts the democratic process.

The corruption is bipartisan; at present, the Republican Party enjoys greater favor with the corporate paymasters than does the Democratic Party, but both parties are �on the take�. It does little to assuage one�s concern for democracy that one party gets 55-60% of the paymasters� money and the other only 40-45%. In a country that prides itself on being democratic, private money peddles its influence across the political spectrum.

To cite one illustrative example, Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, an energy industry watchdog, reports that Big Oil and Gas doled out $55 million to various campaigns for legislative and executive seats since 2001. And why not, ExxonMobil alone made a profit of $36.1 billion in 2005, the most profit ever recorded by a U.S. corporation in a year, and a rate of return on investment of 46-59%. And what did these donations buy the industry? Among other things, when the executives of the top five oil and gas companies were called before Congress to testify about possible price-gouging and the prospect of a windfall profits tax, the five company representatives were not required to testify under oath!

Big Money and the future of Democracy in America

I suspect that everything I have just recounted is entirely by design: not by the design of our framers, but by the design of Big Money interests. The role of money ensures that only the wealthy and well-connected have any chance of influencing the political process or holding elected office at a significant level. In the 2004 election campaign, 549 people each raised $100,000 for Bush�s re-election, and John Kerry, too, relied on big donors on his side of the political equation. Thus, it was not by sheer coincidence that, in the 2000 presidential campaign, voters were given a choice between a Yale graduate, whose father had been President and whose grandfather was a Senator, and a Harvard graduate, whose father was a Senator. And in the 2004 presidential contest, the choice was even more narrow, between a multi-millionaire Yale �Skull and Bones� man and a billionaire Yale �Skull and Bones� man. Nepotism, like corruption, discourages most good Americans from participating in elections, to say nothing of running for office!

In 1968, I hung a poster on my bedroom wall that read: �Wanna Be President of the United States? First Find $25 Million�! Today, that wouldn�t buy a Senate seat or even a New York City Mayor�s job. I was shocked when John Corzine spent $63 million for a New Jersey Senate seat, but I was aghast when Michael Bloomberg spent $70 million to become the mayor of New York City. Corporations give money to both parties in staggering amounts, and what they do not give directly to their favorites, they spend on advertising to shape the public mind. The result is a net loss both for the public good and for democracy. It costs the corporations only a small fraction in contributions for what they gain through their wheel-greasing. I wonder how much the oil and natural gas lobby paid to secure that $9 billion in windfall profits that they stand to gain from the Bush administration�s plan for �royalty relief�. And that million dollar donation by the UAE to the Bush library in Crawford was surely just a down-payment on the ports deal they hoped to get!

It seems quaint nowadays to reflect back on the corporate culture of the 1960�s. John Kenneth Galbraith wrote the following description in his1967 book, The New Industrial State, as quoted by Paul Krugman in his excellent October 20, 2002 New York Times Magazine article, �For Richer�:

�Management does not go out ruthlessly to reward itself—a sound management is expected to exercise restraint. . . With the power of decision goes opportunity for making money . . . Were everyone to seek to do so . . . the corporation would be a chaos of competitive avarice. But these are not the sort of thing that a good company man does; a remarkably effective code bans such behavior. Group decision-making insures, moreover, that almost everyone�s actions and even thoughts are known to others. This acts to enforce the code and, more than incidentally, a high standard of personal honesty as well.�

Does anyone believe that such a self-policing culture exists today? If the corporate scandals of the 1990�s taught us anything, it is that corporations no longer even aim to stay in business, a goal that used to temper their penchant for excess and bridge-burning. The cases of Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, WorldCom, Global Crossing, and many more perpetrators, should have made abundantly clear that there is no limit to corporate excess or insatiable greed, and, in the absence of federal and international regulations, it is usually the stockholders and the public at large who end up underwriting the thefts, cleaning up the pollution, and dealing with the displaced workforce. Most of this is not new. In fact, the seeds of corporate rule over America were sown by the 1971 �Powell Memorandum.� And we need only think back to the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980�s, to recall another half a trillion dollar boondoggle that taxpayers had to underwrite. There have been plenty of books written about such scandals (see, for example, William S. Greider, Who Will Tell the People?, Arianna Huffingtom, Pigs at the Trough, Jim Hightower, Thieves in High Places, and David K. Johnston, Perfectly Legal, for starters.) Yet despite the recurrent malfeasance, little has been done to curb corporate excesses and outright frauds.

What is more, trans-national corporations need have no allegiance to the United States of America. They have offices in many countries and on many continents, and most of them have already shipped their profits offshore to avoid the patriotic duty of paying their fair share of U.S. taxes.

Remembering President Eisenhowers Warning

Several commentators have recently reminded us of General Dwight D. Eisenhower�s January 17, 1961 farewell address, warning of the threat posed by the �military-industrial complex�. Usually omitted from discussions of President Eisenhower�s warning is the less well-known fact that, until the final version of the speech, Eisenhower used the phrase, �military-industrial-congressional complex�. He is said to have deleted the reference to Congress from his final version to avoid offending legislators. But President Eisenhower regularly referred to �the triangle� and even to �the iron triangle� consisting of the military, the industries that profit from war, and the Congress, which is charged with declaring war, appropriating funding for wars (and everything else the federal government spends money on), and for exercising oversight functions of various kinds. According to University of Washington Emeritus Professor of engineering, public affairs, and social management, Edward Ward Wenk, Jr.:

�These three cornered fellowships coupled hungry defense contractors, ambitious military officers whose promotions rested on husbanding new defense systems, and members of Congress eager to steer new funds and job opportunities to their district.�

Eisenhower might have added �educational institutions� to the list, since universities conducted research for the Manhattan Project and institutions, such as UC Berkeley, which managed the Los Alamos laboratory (which produced the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) from its inception until last year, when the University put Los Alamos on the auction block and Bechtel secured the management contract. President Eisenhower�s speechwriter�whom Professor Wenk revealed to be Malcolm Moos�recalled that Eisenhower feared a �pathological influence of the military-industrial coalition beyond a healthy arm�s-length relationship, especially if the national psyche was prodded artificially by fear. A future chief executive might exploit political energies of the coalition to further a narrow and dangerous agenda� (Italics mine).

Professor Wenk, who served in the administrations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and who was the first incumbent in the post of science advisor to Congress during the Eisenhower administration, draws this conclusion in his March 17 article, �Ike�s Warning Reverberates Today� by saying: �I see coalitions increasingly entrenched. Failed weapons systems are seldom canceled. Auditing is cursory for moving and feeding troops; malperformance is accepted in the fog of war, and penalties for fraud uncollected. . .� �Influence of coalitions also has grown with the cost of political campaigns. Members spend half their time raising funds, rather than forging policy. . . In the absence of strong vigilance, their concern about a corporate state hatched by stealth might yet happen.�

Indeed, it may have already taken place.

It appears glaringly obvious these days that Congress has failed miserably in its oversight, appropriation, and war-declaration functions. This lack of oversight is apparent not only with respect to the Administration�s reckless adventure in Iraq, but also with regard to the passage of the Patriot Act (and its renewal), the muted response against policies condoning torture, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, the practice of �extraordinary rendition�, the warrantless wiretapping on American citizens, and the insuring of free and fair elections with verifiable ballot-counting. What we have now is a military-industrial-Congressional complex indeed!

I nonetheless believe that most public officials begin their careers with a desire to serve the people and to make America better. I do not believe that members of Congress, or members of state legislatures, for that matter, run for office merely to enrich themselves. No, I think that most of them begin their political careers as genuine and sincere people. But the systemic role of money, as I have said, pollutes and perverts processes and people. It is a bit like boiling a frog. If you drop the frog in boiling water, it will immediately jump out of the kettle; but if you drop the frog in lukewarm water and slowly increase the temperature, the frog will neither jump out of the kettle nor croak anymore.

And that is just what happens to far too many of our public servants and to the citizenry as a whole. It is ironic that Big Business tries to insure that government stays on the sidelines and pursues laissez faire policies, until Big Business needs the government (usually aided by the U.S. military) to make some country or region �safe� for its business interests. From making Cuba safe for the United Fruit Company, to securing access to Persian Gulf oil and South Asian gas, Big Business is always ready to have the government protecting its interests. One notes again and again, however, that such security is paid for by taxpayers, while the profits go straight into the corporate coffers. But beware, Big Business; for as Bigioni warns: �Just as monopoly is the ruin of the free market, fascism is the ultimate degradation of liberal capitalism.�

Dr. Gary Alan Scott is an associate professor of philosophy at Loyola College in Maryland and he is currently the Director of Loyolas International Study Abroad Program in Leuven, Belgium. Email to: garyalanscott@yahoo.com.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0412-32.htm

<><><>

Is the U.S. on the Brink of Fascism?

There are dangerous currents running through America’s politics and the way we confront them is crucial.

August 7, 2009 |

LIKE THIS ARTICLE ?

Join our mailing list:

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest News & Politics headlines via email.

// Petitions by Change.org|Get Widget|Start a Petition »

All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history’s worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who’d made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?

And every time this question got asked, people like Chip Berlet and Dave Neiwert and Fred Clarkson and yours truly would look up from our maps like a parent on a long drive, and smile a wan smile of reassurance. “Wellll…we’re on a bad road, and if we don’t change course, we could end up there soon enough. But there’s also still plenty of time and opportunity to turn back. Watch, but don’t worry. As bad as this looks: no — we are not there yet.

In tracking the mileage on this trip to perdition, many of us relied on the work of historian Robert Paxton, who is probably the world’s pre-eminent scholar on the subject of how countries turn fascist. In a 1998 paper published in The Journal of Modern History, Paxton argued that the best way to recognize emerging fascist movements isn’t by their rhetoric, their politics, or their aesthetics. Rather, he said, mature democracies turn fascist by a recognizable process, a set of five stages that may be the most important family resemblance that links all the whole motley collection of 20th Century fascisms together. According to our reading of Paxton’s stages, we weren’t there yet. There were certain signs — one in particular — we were keeping an eye out for, and we just weren’t seeing it.

And now we are. In fact, if you know what you’re looking for, it’s suddenly everywhere. It’s odd that I haven’t been asked for quite a while; but if you asked me today, I’d tell you that if we’re not there right now, we’ve certainly taken that last turn into the parking lot and are now looking for a space. Either way, our fascist American future now looms very large in the front windshield — and those of us who value American democracy need to understand how we got here, what’s changing now, and what’s at stake in the very near future if these people are allowed to win — or even hold their ground.

What is fascism?
The word has been bandied about by so many people so wrongly for so long that, as Paxton points out, “Everybody is somebody else’s fascist.” Given that, I always like to start these conversations by revisiting Paxton’s essential definition of the term:

“Fascism is a system of political authority and social order intended to reinforce the unity, energy, and purity of communities in which liberal democracy stands accused of producing division and decline.”

Elsewhere, he refines this further as

“a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

.
Jonah Goldberg aside, that’s a basic definition most legitimate scholars in the field can agree on, and the one I’ll be referring to here.

From proto-fascism to the tipping point
According to Paxton, fascism unfolds in five stages. The first two are pretty solidly behind us — and the third should be of particular interest to progressives right now.

In the first stage, a rural movement emerges to effect some kind of nationalist renewal (what Roger Griffin calls “palingenesis” — a phoenix-like rebirth from the ashes). They come together to restore a broken social order, always drawing on themes of unity, order, and purity. Reason is rejected in favor of passionate emotion. The way the organizing story is told varies from country to country; but it’s always rooted in the promise of restoring lost national pride by resurrecting the culture’s traditional myths and values, and purging society of the toxic influence of the outsiders and intellectuals who are blamed for their current misery.

Fascism only grows in the disturbed soil of a mature democracy in crisis. Paxton suggests that the Ku Klux Klan, which formed in reaction to post-Civil War Reconstruction, may in fact be the first authentically fascist movement in modern times. Almost every major country in Europe sprouted a proto-fascist movement in the wretched years following WWI (when the Klan enjoyed a major resurgence here as well) — but most of them stalled either at this first stage, or the next one.

As Rick Perlstein documented in his two books on Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, modern American conservatism was built on these same themes. From “Morning in America” to the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it’s easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it’s blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn’t have a moment’s shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.

In the second stage, fascist movements take root, turn into real political parties, and seize their seat at the table of power. Interestingly, in every case Paxton cites, the political base came from the rural, less-educated parts of the country; and almost all of them came to power very specifically by offering themselves as informal goon squads organized to intimidate farmworkers on behalf of the large landowners. The KKK disenfranchised black sharecroppers and set itself up as the enforcement wing of Jim Crow. The Italian Squadristi and the German Brownshirts made their bones breaking up farmers’ strikes. And these days, GOP-sanctioned anti-immigrant groups make life hell for Hispanic agricultural workers in the US. As violence against random Hispanics (citizens and otherwise) increases, the right-wing goon squads are getting basic training that, if the pattern holds, they may eventually use to intimidate the rest of us.

Paxton wrote that succeeding at the second stage “depends on certain relatively precise conditions: the weakness of a liberal state, whose inadequacies condemn the nation to disorder, decline, or humiliation; and political deadlock because the Right, the heir to power but unable to continue to wield it alone, refuses to accept a growing Left as a legitimate governing partner.” He further noted that Hitler and Mussolini both took power under these same circumstances: “deadlock of constitutional government (produced in part by the polarization that the fascists abetted); conservative leaders who felt threatened by the loss of their capacity to keep the population under control at a moment of massive popular mobilization; an advancing Left; and conservative leaders who refused to work with that Left and who felt unable to continue to govern against the Left without further reinforcement.”

And more ominously: “The most important variables…are the conservative elites’ willingness to work with the fascists (along with a reciprocal flexibility on the part of the fascist leaders) and the depth of the crisis that induces them to cooperate.”

That description sounds eerily like the dire straits our Congressional Republicans find themselves in right now. Though the GOP has been humiliated, rejected, and reduced to rump status by a series of epic national catastrophes mostly of its own making, its leadership can’t even imagine governing cooperatively with the newly mobilized and ascendant Democrats. Lacking legitimate routes back to power, their last hope is to invest the hardcore remainder of their base with an undeserved legitimacy, recruit them as shock troops, and overthrow American democracy by force. If they can’t win elections or policy fights, they’re more than willing to take it to the streets, and seize power by bullying Americans into silence and complicity.

When that unholy alliance is made, the third stage — the transition to full-fledged government fascism — begins.

The third stage: being there
All through the Bush years, progressive right-wing watchers refused to call it “fascism” because, though we kept looking, we never saw clear signs of a deliberate, committed institutional partnership forming between America’s conservative elites and its emerging homegrown brownshirt horde. We caught tantalizing signs of brief flirtations — passing political alliances, money passing hands, far-right moonbat talking points flying out of the mouths of “mainstream” conservative leaders. But it was all circumstantial, and fairly transitory. The two sides kept a discreet distance from each other, at least in public. What went on behind closed doors, we could only guess. They certainly didn’t act like a married couple.

Now, the guessing game is over. We know beyond doubt that the Teabag movement was created out of whole cloth by astroturf groups like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks and Tim Phillips’ Americans for Prosperity, with massive media help from FOX News. We see the Birther fracas — the kind of urban myth-making that should have never made it out of the pages of the National Enquirer — being openly ratified by Congressional Republicans. We’ve seen Armey’s own professionally-produced field manual that carefully instructs conservative goon squads in the fine art of disrupting the democratic governing process — and the film of public officials being terrorized and threatened to the point where some of them required armed escorts to leave the building. We’ve seen Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to “a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress.”

This is the sign we were waiting for — the one that tells us that yes, kids: we are there now. America’s conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country’s legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America’s streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won’t do their political or economic bidding.

This is the catalyzing moment at which honest-to-Hitler fascism begins. It’s also our very last chance to stop it.

The fail-safe point
According to Paxton, the forging of this third-stage alliance is the make-or-break moment — and the worst part of it is that by the time you’ve arrived at that point, it’s probably too late to stop it. From here, it escalates, as minor thuggery turns into beatings, killings, and systematic tagging of certain groups for elimination, all directed by people at the very top of the power structure. After Labor Day, when Democratic senators and representatives go back to Washington, the mobs now being created to harass them will remain to run the same tactics — escalated and perfected with each new use — against anyone in town whose color, religion, or politics they don’t like. In some places, they’re already making notes and taking names.

Where’s the danger line? Paxton offers three quick questions that point us straight at it:

1. Are [neo- or protofascisms] becoming rooted as parties that represent major interests and feelings and wield major influence on the political scene?

2. Is the economic or constitutional system in a state of blockage apparently insoluble by existing authorities?

3. Is a rapid political mobilization threatening to escape the control of traditional elites, to the point where they would be tempted to look for tough helpers in order to stay in charge?

By my reckoning, we’re three for three. That’s too close. Way too close.

The Road Ahead
History tells us that once this alliance catalyzes and makes a successful bid for power, there’s no way off this ride. As Dave Neiwert wrote in his recent book, The Eliminationists, “if we can only identify fascism in its mature form—the goose-stepping brownshirts, the full-fledged use of violence and intimidation tactics, the mass rallies—then it will be far too late to stop it.” Paxton (who presciently warned that “An authentic popular fascism in the United States would be pious and anti-Black”) agrees that if a corporate/brownshirt alliance gets a toehold — as ours is now scrambling to do — it can very quickly rise to power and destroy the last vestiges of democratic government. Once they start racking up wins, the country will be doomed to take the whole ugly trip through the last two stages, with no turnoffs or pit stops between now and the end.

What awaits us? In stage four, as the duo assumes full control of the country, power struggles emerge between the brownshirt-bred party faithful and the institutions of the conservative elites — church, military, professions, and business. The character of the regime is determined by who gets the upper hand. If the party members (who gained power through street thuggery) win, an authoritarian police state may well follow. If the conservatives can get them back under control, a more traditional theocracy, corporatocracy, or military regime can re-emerge over time. But in neither case will the results resemble the democracy that this alliance overthrew.

Paxton characterizes stage five as “radicalization or entropy.” Radicalization is likely if the new regime scores a big military victory, which consolidates its power and whets its appetite for expansion and large-scale social engineering. (See: Germany) In the absence of a radicalizing event, entropy may set in, as the state gets lost in its own purposes and degenerates into incoherence. (See: Italy)

It’s so easy right now to look at the melee on the right and discount it as pure political theater of the most absurdly ridiculous kind. It’s a freaking puppet show. These people can’t be serious. Sure, they’re angry — but they’re also a minority, out of power and reduced to throwing tantrums. Grown-ups need to worry about them about as much as you’d worry about a furious five-year-old threatening to hold her breath until she turned blue.

Unfortunately, all the noise and bluster actually obscures the danger. These people are as serious as a lynch mob, and have already taken the first steps toward becoming one. And they’re going to walk taller and louder and prouder now that their bumbling efforts at civil disobedience are being committed with the full sanction and support of the country’s most powerful people, who are cynically using them in a last-ditch effort to save their own places of profit and prestige.

We’ve arrived. We are now parked on the exact spot where our best experts tell us full-blown fascism is born. Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we’re slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return.

How do we pull back? That’s my next post.

Sara Robinson is a Fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future, and a consulting partner with the Cognitive Policy Works in Seattle. One of the few trained social futurists in North America, she has blogged on authoritarian and extremist movements at Orcinus since 2006, and is a founding member of Group News Blog.

http://www.alternet.org/news/141819/is_the_u.s._on_the_brink_of_fascism/?page=entire

<><><>

It’s the Corporate State, Stupid

“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini.

David G. Mills

11/10/04 “ICH” — The early twentieth century Italians, who invented the word fascism, also had a more descriptive term for the concept — estato corporativo: the corporatist state. Unfortunately for Americans, we have come to equate fascism with its symptoms, not with its structure. The structure of fascism is corporatism, or the corporate state. The structure of fascism is the union, marriage, merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power. Failing to understand fascism, as the consolidation of corporate economic and governmental power in the hands of a few, is to completely misunderstand what fascism is. It is the consolidation of this power that produces the demagogues and regimes we understand as fascist ones.

While we Americans have been trained to keenly identify the opposite of fascism, i.e., government intrusion into and usurpation of private enterprise, we have not been trained to identify the usurpation of government by private enterprise. Our European cousins, on the other hand, having lived with Fascism in several European countries during the last century, know it when they see it, and looking over here, they are ringing the alarm bells. We need to learn how to recognize Fascism now.

Dr. Lawrence Britt has written an excellent article entitled “The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism.” An Internet search of the number 14 coupled with the word fascism will produce the original article as well as many annotations on each of the 14 characteristics of fascism that he describes. His article is a must read to help get a handle on the symptoms that corporatism produces.

But even Britt’s excellent article misses the importance of Mussolini’s point. The concept of corporatism is number nine on Britt’s list and unfortunately titled: “Corporate Power is Protected.” In the view of Mussolini, the concept of corporatism should have been number one on the list and should have been more aptly titled the “Merger of Corporate Power and State Power.” Even Britt failed to see the merger of corporate and state power as the primary cause of most of these other characteristics. It is only when one begins to view fascism as the merger of corporate power and state power that it is easy to see how most of the other thirteen characteristics Britt describes are produced. Seen this way, these other characteristics no longer become disjointed abstractions. Cause and effect is evident.

For example, number two on Britt’s list is titled: “Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights.” Individual rights and corporate rights, at the very least conflict, and often are in downright opposition to one another. In the court system, often individuals must sue corporations. In America, in order to protect corporations, we have seen a steady stream of rules, decisions and laws to protect corporations and to limit the rights of the individual by lawsuit and other redress. These rules, decisions, and laws have always been justified on the basis of the need for corporations to have profit in order to exist.

Number three on Britt’s list is the identification of scapegoats or enemies as a unifying cause. Often the government itself becomes the scapegoat when the government is the regulator of the corporations. Often it is lawyers or administrators who take on the corporations. Often it is liberals who champion the rights of individuals, or terrorists who might threaten state stability or corporate profit. Any or all may become scapegoats for the state’s problems because they pose problems for corporations.

Other notable characteristics of fascism described by Britt which are directly produced by corporatism are:

< The suppression of organized labor (organized labor is the bane of corporations and the only real check on corporate power other than government or the legal system);

< Supremacy of the military (it is necessary to produce and protect corporate profits abroad and threats from abroad);

< Cronyism and governmental corruption (it is very beneficial to have ex-corporate employees run the agencies or make the laws that are supposed to regulate or check corporations);

< Fraudulent elections (especially those where corporations run the machinery of elections and count the votes or where judges decide their outcomes);

< Nationalism (disdain for other countries that might promote individual rights);

< Obsession with national security (anti-corporatists are a security risk to the corporate status quo);

< Control of the media (propaganda works);

< Obsession with crime and punishment (anti-corporatists belong in jail); and

< Disdain for intellectuals and the arts (these people see corporatism for what it is and are highly individualistic).

All of these characteristics have a fairly obvious corporate component to them or produce a fairly obvious corporate benefit. Even Britt’s last two characteristics, the merger of state with the dominant religion and rampant suppression of divorce, abortion and homosexuality produce at least some indirect corporate benefit.

In sum, it’s the corporate state, stupid.

As I have pondered what could be done about America’s steady march toward the fascist state, I also have pondered what can be done internally to stop it. The Germans couldn’t seem to do it. The Italians couldn’t seem to do it. The only lesson from recent history where an indigenous people seemed to have uncoupled the merger of economic power with governmental power is the French Revolution. The soft underbelly of consolidated economic power is that the power resides in the hands of a few. Cut off the money supply of the few and the merger between economic power and government becomes unglued. The French systematically took out their aristocracy one by one. It was ugly; the French couldn’t seem to figure out when there had been enough bloodletting to solve the problem.

The thought of an American twenty-first century French Revolution is ugly. But the thought of an American twenty-first century fascist state is far uglier. It would be a supreme irony that the state most responsible for stopping worldwide fascism would become fascist 60 years later. But far worse than this irony is the reality that an American fascist state with America’s power could make Nazi Germany look like a tiny blip on the radar screen of history.

For some years now we have lived with the Faustian bargain of the corporation. Large corporations are necessary to achieve those governmental and social necessities that small enterprises are incapable of providing. The checks on corporate power have always been fragile. Left unchecked, the huge economic power of corporations corrupts absolutely. Most of the checks are badly eroded. Is there still time to get the checks back in balance? Or will we be left with two unthinkable options?

David G. Mills is an attorney who lives in Memphis, TN. Email – mmillsas@midsouth.rr.com

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

<><><>

Advertisements

8 Responses to Terrorism by Corporate + Government Collusion = Fascism by definition

  1. The Destructionist says:

    As countries around the world scramble to shore up their economies by implementing severe austerity plans (in an effort to salvage what they have left of their financial houses), the global markets will continue their slide downward into no-man’s land, as if caught up in some type of melancholy or malaise.

    Some say that we are headed into a recession or depression. I wholeheartedly disagree. What we are witnessing now is something newly created and born of corporate greed. It is a monster that we have never seen before and one in which we are ill-prepared to handle.

    For example, during the Depression, the United States was able to withstand the financial storm because it had American businesses at the ready to hire American workers back at a moment’s notice. Knowing that, it was for most, a psychological security blanket: an underlying assurance that no matter how bad times got, jobs would always be there once the economy improved. Unfortunately, that’s not the case today. Many American businesses have carted their factories and jobs off to other countries in an effort to reduce their overhead and labor costs. Without these jobs to fall back upon, as in times past, there is no real way for America to financially recover from a recession or depression.

    Some will balk at the assertion, claiming that the small ‘mom and pop’ stores will eventually see us through these hard financial times. But to them I ask, “Have you ever heard of Wal-Mart… With low, low prices, every day? How do you expect the common mom and pop stores to compete against such behemoths?” …Simply put, they can’t.
    This situation is not just happening here in America, but around the globe. Corporations are playing it fast and loose with their allegiances on every front; with no care at all to the country or the people that fostered their growth or prosperity. (If it’s cheaper for them to move jobs to some foreign country that pays its workers only .50 an hour, trust me, they’ll do it.) Business is cold and uncaring. Business does not care who suffers, just as long as there is a profit for their shareholders during every quarter. Business should be regulated to prevent such financial catastrophes from happening in the future.

    In closing, I understand that there are many other forces at work here that are contributing to the global economic crisis, but far beyond all others, corporate greed seems to be the thread that ties them together.

    Expect the Dow to continue on its downward slide.

  2. roman says:

    I truly like your blog, the way you create posts and subject you covered are purely awesome. I understand how difficult it can be to get the website visitors interested. I have made the decision to include your blog to my blog list.

  3. Farrah Calixto says:

    Why are there no far more this kind of weblogs? Your articles are excellent and come in themes, which can not be observed everywhere. Make sure you go on writing such great content, it really is genuinely beneficial. The world wide web is total of outstanding waste, as 1 is content when you find one thing else. Why are not there much more? Tend not to leave me hanging!

  4. Marylyn Moren says:

    Thank you for your good gift following the wonderful ideas shared in this article. I am a college teacher and I came across newer things as I went through your article. The school shall soon be organizing a meeting for the students and I would love you to share more ideas, maybe through a video, with the students about this topic. Of course, I will get in touch with you when the time comes. My school is really happy to realize that some experts on this topic have a web page like yours exactly where people can discover more. Wonderful post. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel. Your generosity will be remembered continually. Thank you.

  5. Keneth Piliero says:

    Hey there, Thank you just for that fantastic article! Kind regards, Keneth Piliero

  6. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you. Rachelle Rene

  7. Allyn Amer says:

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  8. Alton Polczynski says:

    I don’t want to seem patronizing, although I just wanted to tell you that that is a excellent blog post. I have been really working extremely diligently during the past couple of years to successfully settle more or less all of my current financial debts so I should be able to leave my job then run several blogs full-time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s