Does Fascism Lurk Around The Corner In The USA?

Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini

Fascism is one of those words that sounds like it belongs in the past, conjuring up, as it does, marching jack boots in the streets, charismatic demagogues like Italy’s Mussolini or Spain’s Franco and armed crackdowns on dissent and freedom of expression.

It is a term we are used to reading in histories about World War 2 — not in news stories from present day America.

And yet the word, and the dark reality behind it, is creeping into popular contemporary usage.

Radical activists on the left have never been hesitant to label their opponents with this “F word” whenever governments support laws that limit opposition or overdo national security or abuse human rights. Government paranoia turns critics paranoid.

One example: writer Naomi Wolf forecast fascism creeping into America during the Bush years accelerated by the erosion of democracy, writing:

“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.”

Wolf feared Americans couldn’t see the warning signs:

“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 recognize 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.”

Now, those bells are now being rung by John Hall, an outgoing Democratic Congressman from upstate New York. His fear of fascism has less to do with repressive laws and militarism than the influx of corporate money into politics, swamping it with special interests that buy influence for right wing policies and politicians.

“I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism,” he told the New York Observer. “So that’s really the question — is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?”

The Observer commented:

“The court decision he is referring to is Citizens United, the controversial Supreme Court ruling that led to greater corporate spending in the midterm elections, much of it anonymous. In the wake of the decision, Democrats tried to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have mandated that corporate donors identify themselves in their advertising, but the measure failed amid GOP opposition. Ads from groups with anonymous donors were particularly prone to misleading or false claims.

Hall said the influx of corporate money in the wake of Citizens United handed the House of Representatives to Republicans  “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”

Many in mainstream politics who understand that big money can dominate elections although not in every case share Hall’s fears. In California, two well-known female candidates from the corporate world raised millions but still went down in defeat.

So money alone is not the be all and end all of a shift towards a red white and blue brand of fascism. Other ingredients are needed and some may be on the way—like an economic collapse, defeat in foreign wars, rise in domestic terrorism and the emergence of a right-wing populist movement that puts order before justice and wants to crush its opponents

Some argue we have just such a movement in the Tea Party although other critics focus on the rise of the Christian right that promotes fundamentalist politics in the name of God.

The Tea Party is not just after Democrats; it has started a campaign against the liberal Methodist Church.  It is not internally democratic either with no elected officers or set of by by-laws. It seems to be managed and manipulated by shadowy political operatives and PR firms, financed by a few billionaires who support populism to defang it.

Already militias are forming because of fears of immigration, and there is also concern that if unemployment remains high there is likely to be more violence with police forces understaffed because of government cutbacks. Gun sales went up after the recent violent incidents in Arizona.

The erosion of economic stability with the rise of foreclosures and the shredding of social services is already turning a financial crisis into a social one.

We already have sharp partisan divide and inflation of hateful rhetoric with vicious putdowns of the President and condemnations by members of Congress calling him corrupt, even a traitor.

According to set of the characteristics of fascist nations, there is “a 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.

“In place of human rights enemies are turned into 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.”

This process is already far along in the USA

Among the classical characteristics of fascism is a shutting down of debate and a focus on the state—which in our country is controlled by lobbyists and private interests. Wall Street and the military-industrial complex have far more clout than elected officials.

In the past, during the depression, there was a plot to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was exposed and neutered.  Could something like that happen again?

Maybe it doesn’t have to, what with hawks already in control of Congress, major media outlets, the military and poised to slash the power of unions and curb progressive social programs including public education.

Several writers believe that if and when fascism comes to America it will be packaged in a friendly form tied to beneficial advertising slogans and public interest messaging. It will be sold, 1984, style as being unavoidable, even cool, and in our best interest.

Louisiana Senator Huey Long, a mesmerizing agitator, once said,  “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.”

Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org.
For more on his film Plunder: The Crime of Our Time and companion book The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street Is Not Too Big To Jail, visit plunderthecrimeofourtime.com.

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  • Anonymous

    There will always be some type of moral paradigm in place, even in extremely materialistic cultures, even if only to serve as a social control template rather than method of preserve spiritual equilibrium. And my guess is that the word “fascism” neatly describes a materilist morality.

    My take is that good is seen as a thing that can be quantified and accumulated, like money, territory, etc., etc. Taking things is good. Giving things is bad.

    My impression is that historically, society’s understanding of ‘morality’ has fluctuated, but has usually been a little more balanced between material/spiritual ends of the spectrum. Which is not to say that spiritural ideas haven’t been abused in the service of more cynical materialistic power politics, but that we at least recognized the worth of experiences beyond the mere accumulation of wealth.

    However, that don’t seem to be the case today, when we’re bombarded with bullshit “Evangelical” prosperity gospel and the like.

    There’s a keen, keen irony at play when agnostics/atheists, who recognize the distinction between the material and the spiritual have a more balanced sense of morality than the Sunday churchgoers who don’t.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    There will always be some type of moral paradigm in place, even in extremely materialistic cultures, even if only to serve as a social control template rather than method of preserve spiritual equilibrium. And my guess is that the word “fascism” neatly describes a materilist morality.

    My take is that good is seen as a thing that can be quantified and accumulated, like money, territory, etc., etc. Taking things is good. Giving things is bad.

    My impression is that historically, society’s understanding of ‘morality’ has fluctuated, but has usually been a little more balanced between material/spiritual ends of the spectrum. Which is not to say that spiritural ideas haven’t been abused in the service of more cynical materialistic power politics, but that we at least recognized the worth of experiences beyond the mere accumulation of wealth.

    However, that don’t seem to be the case today, when we’re bombarded with bullshit “Evangelical” prosperity gospel and the like.

    There’s a keen, keen irony at play when agnostics/atheists, who recognize the distinction between the material and the spiritual have a more balanced sense of morality than the Sunday churchgoers who don’t.

  • http://twitter.com/BrittanyBeagley Brittany Beagley
  • http://twitter.com/BrittanyBeagley Brittany Beagley
  • mrtastycakes

    Just a friendly footnote from a policy wonk:

    Corporatism doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Corporatism

  • mrtastycakes

    Just a friendly footnote from a policy wonk:

    Corporatism doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Corporatism

    • Liam_McGonagle

      I get your drift.

      But every word has at least 2 definitions:

      1. Denotative: The literal, Merriam-Webster’s definition, eg: “Skank, noun, derogatory term for a woman with loose sexual morals”

      2. Connotative: The informal definition, reflecting the popular use of the word and its subjective associations, eg “Skank is a pejorative word often used to describe any morally comprimised person, regardless of gender or the specific nature of their moral failing”

      Over time, if a connotative definition becomes popular enough, it can get equal billing in Webster’s with the original denotative. Maybe even over take it. Like the word “Awful”, originally meant inspiring a sense of the sublime (i.e., “awe”), but over time became more and more limited to descriptions of things deemed particularly bad, sub-standard (e.g., “an awful piece of shit he done wrote”.)

      Regarding the recent history of the word “corporatist”, my guess is that the connotative meaning “associated with the crass materialist philosophy of 21st century laissez faire capitalism” is probably the first meaning attached by most readers.

      How much of that you can ascribe to the influence of writers like Doug Rushkoff I don’t know.

      http://www.rushkoff.com

      • mrtastycakes

        That’s true. But if you go to Europe or Japan and mention “corporatism,” the connotative definition is the tripartism that’s the norm there.

        The whole thing bothers me a little bit, because:
        1) Someone just made up that quote (it’s attributed to Mussolini sometimes–but he never said it)
        2) Fascism is indeed a merger of state and corporate powers. But that’s misleading, because it’s really just the state merging with ALL powers. (Mussolini did say that)
        3) Fascism can’t be ideologically equated with a “corporatocracy,” because fascism is anti-capitalist
        4) Equating “corporatocracy” with corporatism in America hurts any case for government involvement in the economy

        Redefining “awful” is OK. Redefining well-established and widely-held beliefs is not.

        • Donald-D

          Ron Paul has addressed this corporate emergence with Government for years now.
          I he calls it crony-corporatism. I don’t know if it was him, Stossel or someone else that coined the term.

        • Heathen Ledger

          Saying he never said it upon the value of your words is pretty weak support. As to your second assertion, fascism is a form of totalitarianism but not all totalitarian states are fascist. In NO way is fascism anti-capitalist. Any assertion but a puppet fascist is double speak. One only has to look at the cozy relationship with Fanta (Coke), Ford, IBM, DuPont and so forth in war-time Germany. In terms of your last point, corporatism is involves corporate interests pulling the strings of government to the exclusion of democratic input from citizens or they’re “elected” constituent governments NOT vice versa. When you have the reverse occurring this is simply a controlled economy. We need FREE people not FREE economies. A free economy is a lewd concept concocted by vested interests who have little concern for the people.

        • Liam_McGonagle

          Not contesting what you’re saying.

          Just saying that this article appears to be written in a North American variety of English, and therefore those would be the applicable connotations.

          Not that the distinctions you point out in the overseas varieties are unimportant, just not applicable to a North American audience.

        • mrtastycakes

          Heathen, I can’t say for sure that he never said it. However, I can say for sure that there is no record of him ever saying it. You can look for yourself.

          And, you’re right about the anti-capitalist thing. Fascists self-define themselves as “anti-capitalist” and “anti-communist.” But that’s their claim, not the reality. So, I suppose it’s the same kind of hypocritical state capitalism seen in other totalitarian nations.

          Additionally, corporatism takes many forms. One could be corporations pulling the strings of government. Usually, though, it’s a cooperative, open endeavor within a democratic system, with labor given an equal place at the table as corporations (as opposed to the competitive, opaque interest-driven system we have in the US). From there, there is some economic planning and negotiation between these groups and our elected bodies, which is something that sounds scary to Americans, but probably wouldn’t be so much if we realized that that’s already going on–with none of our input or oversight.

  • Blamma

    The purest form of democracy is an implementation of facism which 51% of the population agrees with.

  • Blamma

    The purest form of democracy is an implementation of facism which 51% of the population agrees with.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Good observation. That’s why George Mason insisted on a Bill of Rights.

      • I left

        A Bill of rights doesn’t mean squatt if there is no one to enforce them I know I am a victim. America love it or leave it………..I left!

        • Madmanmikey

          Where did you land?

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I get your drift.

    But every word has at least 2 definitions:

    1. Denotative: The literal, Merriam-Webster’s definition, eg: “Skank, noun, derogatory term for a woman with loose sexual morals”

    2. Connotative: The informal definition, reflecting the popular use of the word and its subjective associations, eg “Skank is a pejorative word often used to describe any morally comprimised person, regardless of gender or the specific nature of their moral failing”

    Over time, if a connotative definition becomes popular enough, it can get equal billing in Webster’s with the original denotative. Maybe even over take it. Like the word “Awful”, originally meant inspiring a sense of the sublime (i.e., “awe”), but over time became more and more limited to descriptions of things deemed particularly bad, sub-standard (e.g., “an awful piece of shit he done wrote”.)

    Regarding the recent history of the word “corporatist”, my guess is that the connotative meaning “associated with the crass materialist philosophy of 21st century laissez faire capitalism” is probably the first meaning attached by most readers.

    How much of that you can ascribe to the influence of writers like Doug Rushkoff I don’t know.

    http://www.rushkoff.com

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Good observation. That’s why George Mason insisted on a Bill of Rights.

  • http://chrisbachmann.com Chris Bachmann

    Sinclair Lewis’ book “It Can’t Happen Here” is also a worthwhile read. There are some eerie parallels between his world in the 1930s and today, but there are some differences as well. There was also a reference I came across not too long ago that fascism also requires a failure of liberals to live up to their promises of supporting the working class. I’m going to need to find the reference, but I figured I’ll put it out there. Maybe someone will beat me to it.

  • http://chrisbachmann.com Chris Bachmann

    Sinclair Lewis’ book “It Can’t Happen Here” is also a worthwhile read. There are some eerie parallels between his world in the 1930s and today, but there are some differences as well. There was also a reference I came across not too long ago that fascism also requires a failure of liberals to live up to their promises of supporting the working class. I’m going to need to find the reference, but I figured I’ll put it out there. Maybe someone will beat me to it.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Amen.

      A bit tangental, but kinda/sort along the same lines: “All that needs to happen for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

      That’s just a paraphrase of one of my favorites–my memory’s not super precise on the point. Think it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer with regard to the Holocaust. But I will be happy to be corrected.

      • Liam_McGonagle

        OOPTH! That quote belongs to Edmund Burke, 18th century Irish statesman. It actually goes:

        “In order for evil to succeed, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.”

        I think I got my lines crossed from this, a genuine gem from Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor and resistor to the nazis:

        “They came first for the Communists,
        and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

        Then they came for the trade unionists,
        and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews,
        and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

        Then they came for me
        and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

        How did I interject Bonhoeffer into all this? He also was a Lutheran pastor persecuted for his opposition to the nazis. More famous than Niemoller, I think.

        Yeah, my off the cuff memory wasn’t so good on that one.

  • Anonymous

    Amen.

    A bit tangental, but kinda/sort along the same lines: “All that needs to happen for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

    That’s just a paraphrase of one of my favorites–my memory’s not super precise on the point. Think it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer with regard to the Holocaust. But I will be happy to be corrected.

  • mrtastycakes

    That’s true. But if you go to Europe or Japan and mention “corporatism,” the connotative definition is the tripartism that’s the norm there.

    The whole thing bothers me a little bit, because:
    1) Someone just made up that quote (it’s attributed to Mussolini sometimes–but he never said it)
    2) Fascism is indeed a merger of state and corporate powers. But that’s misleading, because it’s really just the state merging with ALL powers. (Mussolini did say that)
    3) Fascism can’t be ideologically equated with a “corporatocracy,” because fascism is anti-capitalist
    4) Equating “corporatocracy” with corporatism in America hurts any case for government involvement in the economy

    Redefining “awful” is OK. Redefining well-established and widely-held beliefs is not.

  • http://twitter.com/Marklar_Prime Marklar Kronkite

    If you are not used to seeing the word fascism in the news it’s because you haven’t been reading the news but the MSM instead. Fascism is here and now with no need to resort to fake anti-fascism, just a neo-con president in black face with a liberal lapel pin to carry on the fascist policies of his predecessor and a Homeland Security department carrying out the policies formulated by ex-Homelad Security employee Marcus Wolfe who was also the former head of the East German Stazi.

  • Orgonebox

    I doubt we’ll ever see old school fascism in America simply because it’s too convenient for one part of the body to blame the other as necessary. So if we don’t precisely have this sort of fascist implementation of social control, what do we call our society? Social behavior controls are implemented through finances relating to employment and banking practices, such that only a person of X behavior compliance can have credit, receive favorable banking terms, and even find a job. There’s definitely a collusion between state and industry in determining how these social controls are set in place and normalized for the average citizen. Isn’t this interstitial fascism, the presence of a distributed authority lacking a concrete figurehead, but resulting in edicts which regulate the individual into part of a compliant body?

  • Marklar_Prime

    If you are not used to seeing the word fascism in the news it’s because you haven’t been reading the news but the MSM instead. Fascism is here and now with no need to resort to fake anti-fascism, just a neo-con president in black face with a liberal lapel pin to carry on the fascist policies of his predecessor and a Homeland Security department carrying out the policies formulated by ex-Homelad Security employee Marcus Wolfe who was also the former head of the East German Stazi.

  • Orgonebox

    I doubt we’ll ever see old school fascism in America simply because it’s too convenient for one part of the body to blame the other as necessary. So if we don’t precisely have this sort of fascist implementation of social control, what do we call our society? Social behavior controls are implemented through finances relating to employment and banking practices, such that only a person of X behavior compliance can have credit, receive favorable banking terms, and even find a job. There’s definitely a collusion between state and industry in determining how these social controls are set in place and normalized for the average citizen. Isn’t this interstitial fascism, the presence of a distributed authority lacking a concrete figurehead, but resulting in edicts which regulate the individual into part of a compliant body?

  • baph777atyt

    One of the key components to the rise of Fascism in the US would be an increase in Fundamentalist Christianity. Last Summer USA Today had an article where they discussed the statistical demographics of the Tea Party, but they omitted to include how many members of the Tea Party claim to be Christians and Fundamentalists. I would think the number would be close to 90%. Also Fox News and Glen Beck are putting forth very religious messages in their programming Since Fundamentalism is so closely allied to the Republican Party, I don’t think they will want to lose any footing in the new political environment which could hasten the rise of American Fascism..

    Also F

  • baph777atyt

    One of the key components to the rise of Fascism in the US would be an increase in Fundamentalist Christianity. Last Summer USA Today had an article where they discussed the statistical demographics of the Tea Party, but they omitted to include how many members of the Tea Party claim to be Christians and Fundamentalists. I would think the number would be close to 90%. Also Fox News and Glen Beck are putting forth very religious messages in their programming Since Fundamentalism is so closely allied to the Republican Party, I don’t think they will want to lose any footing in the new political environment which could hasten the rise of American Fascism..

    Also F

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  • Donald-D

    Ron Paul has addressed this corporate emergence with Government for years now.
    I he calls it crony-corporatism. I don’t know if it was him, Stossel or someone else that coined the term.

  • Effortlessmentality

    Hmm..

    A lot of people seem to think that fundamentalist Christianity is a key to a rise of fascism. I think that this can be a contributing factor, but this alone wouldn’t be enough to bring a theocratic fascist government to America. Fundamentalist Christians of the sort as, say, the Westboro bunch, are too extreme. Every American, despite whatever belief (or lack thereof) they have, recognizes the right that we are all allowed to believe whatever we like by the constitution. If for whatever reason, the President was to enact some obeisantly evangelical law, the atheists of the country would defy. Now, whether there’d be enough that would go against it would be a different question, but I still don’t think it would go anywhere. That could be naive, but I doubt our government is bold enough to blatantly defy the constitution, though they have in the past.

    Besides that, I feel like this article is skewed to atheistic standpoints, as are most of the comment(or)s. But that’s to be expected in an article of this type. As someone who’s studied a lot of religion, most fundamentalist ideals are disgustingly incorrect to me, so I would think that any reasonable Christian would recognize that as well. By the way, “reasonable Christian” is not a contradiction. Not from myself personally, but from firsthand experience.

    I’d kind of like to throw out the entirety of the arguments in this article aside from corporate political sponsorship. Forget the “signs of a fascist community”. Throw all of that out. The government couldn’t make a fascist government the same way Russia, Germany, Italy, or Cuba have done before. People in America might not know the constitution as well as they should, but are at least aware of what America is supposed to be. Albeit, some people have a different view of that than others, but most have the basics.

    The only way America could become fascist is if the people voted on it. What scares me is this: We have a representative government – not a democracy. At least not a pure democracy. We vote, yes, but we vote for other people to vote for us because there are simply too many people to measure each individual yes or no. This is why we have the electoral college (which is a rant of rants for another day); however, we have the technology today to have an individual vote on major laws and bills. In the 1800’s, the system we had made sense. It’d have taken forever to individually count every vote. But nowadays, we have computers. In fact, we USE the computers to vote for someone else to vote for us. That makes me sick. As sad as it is to say, I don’t bother voting. I don’t. Why in the hell would I CHOOSE for someone else to make decisions for me? Isn’t that kind of contrary to the whole “freedom” thing? Well, you see, the freedom comes in because there are two different parties and the candidates for each have different viewpoints. The way I see it: They can, and do, lie through their teeth to get the votes and then do whatever they want. Not to mention the fact that they’re people just like everyone else, and have the right, and ability, to change their minds. You vote someone in because they believe in abortion, two years later, they decide they don’t. The system itself if flawed in that the average American really has no power. Thus, we will become a fascist nation because politicians will cloud their intentions with what America WANTS to hear so that they will vote for their own loss of the ability to decide. All, corporately funded, of course.

    So here’s the really big irony: Everyone who shops at Wal-Mart is therefore PAYING Wal-Mart to rig the elections for losing their freedom. Not only are we VOTING for it, but we’re PAYING for it too. Haha.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      You’ve written a lot there that needs some thinking about, for sure.

      But I’d like to take some issue with what I perceive to be an inaccurate underlying assumption about Christianity. I’m not going to contest that you have expressed fairly well the orthodox understanding of Christianity, or at least its Fundamentalist manifestation. No I think you’ve got the consensus view pretty well spot on.

      The problem is that the consensus view is 100% wrong about this. Wrong not in the assertion that Fundamentalist Christians (or at least the vast, vast majority of them) are ignorant, bullying dickweeds. But wrong in the sense that whereas they are perceived to be advocating a “spiritual” perspective, they are in fact, extremely MATERIALISTIC. Here’s what I mean:

      “If Fundamentalist Christians Were So Damned Spiritual, Why Do They Insist on Trying to Prove a Scientifically Material Existence for God?”

      The obvious answer is that they have no concept of God as a transcendant being of pure spirit whatsoever. Their small imaginations and limited perceptual faculties are locked into the Bronze Age cosmology that was only tangentally related to the spiritual doctrines of the world’s religious traditions, joined to them only as a convenient expedient for creating a unified theory to explain all unknown phenomena.

      Fo’ sho’, it’s a wicked, bitter irony that dumbass “Christian” Fundamentalists who claim the mantle of spiritual leadership are in fact thorough going materialists who can’t grasp even that impoverished doctrine with any sophistication greater than than of a modern U.S. eighth grader. Ironic also that atheists and agnostics who spend the time to carefully examine the definitions of “God” and “science” do, in fact, have a far better grasp of spirituality than the “Christian” Fundamentalists ever will.

      But again, I know that this is not the orthodox view of “Christian” Fundamentalism, which is supposed to be a spiritual philosophy. Just so happens that the orthodox view is wrong in this situation.

    • joerobo

      Christians are not “pro-fascist”, but many (especially fundamentalists) are pro-persecution of those that don’t agree with their world view. When the state imposes on the citizen for reasons they like they are all for it (most recently the DADT debate). When the Constitution trumps them (prayer in school for example) they look to the state immediately to change the law of the land to suit their version of “What Jesus Would Want”.

      The GOP has understood and exploited the Christian Right for decades. They are socially conscious, active, and truly believe they have God on their side. American Fascism will be brought in with the blessing of the C. Right. It will be delivered courtesy of the liars in DC and the lapdog media that brought Little Bush so much success with these folks.

      If American Churches all at once started teaching us to beware of the State and live as Jesus did, we could be a great country again and Fascism could never take hold.

      The Bosses will never let it happen…..

  • Effortlessmentality

    Hmm..

    A lot of people seem to think that fundamentalist Christianity is a key to a rise of fascism. I think that this can be a contributing factor, but this alone wouldn’t be enough to bring a theocratic fascist government to America. Fundamentalist Christians of the sort as, say, the Westboro bunch, are too extreme. Every American, despite whatever belief (or lack thereof) they have, recognizes the right that we are all allowed to believe whatever we like by the constitution. If for whatever reason, the President was to enact some obeisantly evangelical law, the atheists of the country would defy. Now, whether there’d be enough that would go against it would be a different question, but I still don’t think it would go anywhere. That could be naive, but I doubt our government is bold enough to blatantly defy the constitution, though they have in the past.

    Besides that, I feel like this article is skewed to atheistic standpoints, as are most of the comment(or)s. But that’s to be expected in an article of this type. As someone who’s studied a lot of religion, most fundamentalist ideals are disgustingly incorrect to me, so I would think that any reasonable Christian would recognize that as well. By the way, “reasonable Christian” is not a contradiction. Not from myself personally, but from firsthand experience.

    I’d kind of like to throw out the entirety of the arguments in this article aside from corporate political sponsorship. Forget the “signs of a fascist community”. Throw all of that out. The government couldn’t make a fascist government the same way Russia, Germany, Italy, or Cuba have done before. People in America might not know the constitution as well as they should, but are at least aware of what America is supposed to be. Albeit, some people have a different view of that than others, but most have the basics.

    The only way America could become fascist is if the people voted on it. What scares me is this: We have a representative government – not a democracy. At least not a pure democracy. We vote, yes, but we vote for other people to vote for us because there are simply too many people to measure each individual yes or no. This is why we have the electoral college (which is a rant of rants for another day); however, we have the technology today to have an individual vote on major laws and bills. In the 1800’s, the system we had made sense. It’d have taken forever to individually count every vote. But nowadays, we have computers. In fact, we USE the computers to vote for someone else to vote for us. That makes me sick. As sad as it is to say, I don’t bother voting. I don’t. Why in the hell would I CHOOSE for someone else to make decisions for me? Isn’t that kind of contrary to the whole “freedom” thing? Well, you see, the freedom comes in because there are two different parties and the candidates for each have different viewpoints. The way I see it: They can, and do, lie through their teeth to get the votes and then do whatever they want. Not to mention the fact that they’re people just like everyone else, and have the right, and ability, to change their minds. You vote someone in because they believe in abortion, two years later, they decide they don’t. The system itself if flawed in that the average American really has no power. Thus, we will become a fascist nation because politicians will cloud their intentions with what America WANTS to hear so that they will vote for their own loss of the ability to decide. All, corporately funded, of course.

    So here’s the really big irony: Everyone who shops at Wal-Mart is therefore PAYING Wal-Mart to rig the elections for losing their freedom. Not only are we VOTING for it, but we’re PAYING for it too. Haha.

  • Heathen Ledger

    Saying he never said it upon the value of your words is pretty weak support. As to your second assertion, fascism is a form of totalitarianism but not all totalitarian states are fascist. In NO way is fascism anti-capitalist. Any assertion but a puppet fascist is double speak. One only has to look at the cozy relationship with Fanta (Coke), Ford, IBM, DuPont and so forth in war-time Germany. In terms of your last point, corporatism is involves corporate interests pulling the strings of government to the exclusion of democratic input from citizens or they’re “elected” constituent governments NOT vice versa. When you have the reverse occurring this is simply a controlled economy. We need FREE people not FREE economies. A free economy is a lewd concept concocted by vested interests who have little concern for the people.

  • I left

    A Bill of rights doesn’t mean squatt if there is no one to enforce them I know I am a victim. America love it or leave it………..I left!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’d like to offer a rebuttal phrase for people who get weary of hearing “love it or leave it” every time they catalog the ever growing list of things ailing America. The next time you hear or read “America: Love it or leave it!”…let your rallying cry be “America! Fix it or GTFO of the way of the people who actually care!”

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Thanks! I was wondering what to print on my next tattoo!

      • Spiderman

        Could even be shortened to “Fix It or Fuck Off”.

    • Dan Mac

      Right on–and though I grow sick nearly to death of patriots and patriotism–Jefferson I believe said, “The highest form of patriotism is dissent.”

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’d like to offer a rebuttal phrase for people who get weary of hearing “love it or leave it” every time they catalog the ever growing list of things ailing America. The next time you hear or read “America: Love it or leave it!”…let your rallying cry be “America! Fix it or GTFO of the way of the people who actually care!”

  • Liam_McGonagle

    OOPTH! That quote belongs to Edmund Burke, 18th century Irish statesman. It actually goes:

    “In order for evil to succeed, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.”

    I think I got my lines crossed from this, a genuine gem from Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor and resistor to the nazis:

    “They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    How did I interject Bonhoeffer into all this? He also was a Lutheran pastor persecuted for his opposition to the nazis. More famous than Niemoller, I think.

    Yeah, my off the cuff memory wasn’t so good on that one.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! I was wondering what to print on my next tattoo!

  • Anonymous

    You’ve written a lot there that needs some thinking about, for sure.

    But I’d like to take some issue with what I perceive to be an inaccurate underlying assumption about Christianity. I’m not going to contest that you have expressed fairly well the orthodox understanding of Christianity, or at least its Fundamentalist manifestation. No I think you’ve got the consensus view pretty well spot on.

    The problem is that the consensus view is 100% wrong about this. Wrong not in the assertion that Fundamentalist Christians (or at least the vast, vast majority of them) are ignorant, bullying dickweeds. But wrong in the sense that whereas they are perceived to be advocating a “spiritual” perspective, they are in fact, extremely MATERIALISTIC. Here’s what I mean:

    “If Fundamentalist Christians Were So Damned Spiritual, Why Do They Insist on Trying to Prove a Scientifically Material Existence for God?”

    The obvious answer is that they have no concept of God as a transcendant being of pure spirit whatsoever. Their small imaginations and limited perceptual faculties are locked into the Bronze Age cosmology that was only tangentally related to the spiritual doctrines of the world’s religious traditions, joined to them only as a convenient expedient for creating a unified theory to explain all unknown phenomena.

    Fo’ sho’, it’s a wicked, bitter irony that dumbass “Christian” Fundamentalists who claim the mantle of spiritual leadership are in fact thorough going materialists who can’t grasp even that impoverished doctrine with any sophistication greater than than of a modern U.S. eighth grader. Ironic also that atheists and agnostics who spend the time to carefully examine the definitions of “God” and “science” do, in fact, have a far better grasp of spirituality than the “Christian” Fundamentalists ever will.

    But again, I know that this is not the orthodox view of “Christian” Fundamentalism, which is supposed to be a spiritual philosophy. Just so happens that the orthodox view is wrong in this situation.

  • Anonymous

    Not contesting what you’re saying.

    Just saying that this article appears to be written in a North American variety of English, and therefore those would be the applicable the connotations.

    Not that the distinctions you point out in the overseas varieties are unimportant, just not applicable to a North American audience.

  • Spiderman

    Could even be shortened to “Fix It or Fuck Off”.

  • joerobo

    See Naomi Wolf’s “The End of America”

    http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/the_end_of_america/

    We are well on our way…

  • Anonymous

    See Naomi Wolf’s “The End of America”

    http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/the_end_of_america/

    We are well on our way…

  • mrtastycakes

    Heathen, I can’t say for sure that he never said it. However, I can say for sure that there is no record of him ever saying it. You can look for yourself.

    And, you’re right about the anti-capitalist thing. Fascists self-define themselves as “anti-capitalist” and “anti-communist.” But that’s their claim, not the reality. So, I suppose it’s the same kind of hypocritical state capitalism seen in other totalitarian nations.

    Additionally, corporatism takes many forms. One could be corporations pulling the strings of government. Usually, though, it’s a cooperative, open endeavor within a democratic system, with labor given an equal place at the table as corporations (as opposed to the competitive, opaque interest-driven system we have in the US). From there, there is some economic planning and negotiation between these groups and our elected bodies, which is something that sounds scary to Americans, but probably wouldn’t be so much if we realized that that’s already going on–with none of our input or oversight.

  • Anonymous

    Christians are not “pro-fascist”, but many (especially fundamentalists) are pro-persecution of those that don’t agree with their world view. When the state imposes on the citizen for reasons they like they are all for it (most recently the DADT debate). When the Constitution trumps them (prayer in school for example) they look to the state immediately to change the law of the land to suit their version of “What Jesus Would Want”.

    The GOP has understood and exploited the Christian Right for decades. They are socially conscious, active, and truly believe they have God on their side. American Fascism will be brought in with the blessing of the C. Right. It will be delivered courtesy of the liars in DC and the lapdog media that brought Little Bush so much success with these folks.

    If American Churches all at once started teaching us to beware of the State and live as Jesus did, we could be a great country again and Fascism could never take hold.

    The Bosses will never let it happen…..

  • Dan Mac

    Right on–and though I grow sick nearly to death of patriots and patriotism–Jefferson I believe said, “The highest form of patriotism is dissent.”

  • WhiteRose

    All this Universal BS is what is killing America and every other western country. I firmly believe the Hollywood press corp. could fix the world not idiotic politicians. Sorry world U can’t handle the F*KN truth. Did we help China, India and Africa… nope we gave them all our jobs… that was just BRILLIANT, duh!

  • WhiteRose

    All this Universal BS is what is killing America and every other western country. I firmly believe the Hollywood press corp. could fix the world not idiotic politicians. Sorry world U can’t handle the F*KN truth. Did we help China, India and Africa… nope we gave them all our jobs… that was just BRILLIANT, duh!

  • Pingback: Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism’? | Disinformation()

  • Madmanmikey

    Where did you land?

  • Paul

    The US has never been a democracy. It has always been a Republic with the hands of power in the hands of wealthy slave owners, just like it is today. We have the world’s largest slave force in our prisons. Considering the value of the dollar many of us with jobs are wage slaves as well. The political parties in this country have always obstructed the concept of democracy from taking root. The concept of a direct democracy is possible with the advent of the phone coupled with the computer. Politicians are basically obsolete and unneeded!

  • Paul

    The US has never been a democracy. It has always been a Republic with the hands of power in the hands of wealthy slave owners, just like it is today. We have the world’s largest slave force in our prisons. Considering the value of the dollar many of us with jobs are wage slaves as well. The political parties in this country have always obstructed the concept of democracy from taking root. The concept of a direct democracy is possible with the advent of the phone coupled with the computer. Politicians are basically obsolete and unneeded!

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