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Fascist America: Are We There Yet?

NDPP
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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Fascist America: Are We There Yet?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/08/09-5

"...fascist American future now looms very large.."


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thanks
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Joined: Mar 21 2009

there and here


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Quote:
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).

At first I thought this was a play on Sarah Palin's name... then I realized it wasn't!


thanks
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Joined: Mar 21 2009

Spector you're behaving in a fascist manner too, in ignoring legitimate concerns.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Where is that coming from???


Coyote
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Joined: Jan 21 2004

He did the same thing in a couple other threads. You're not alone.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Some of the rightwing Libertarians are saying now that America was never really capitalist anyway in an effort to give renewal to the hopes of further experimentation and tinkering with laissez-faire capitalism. But fascism has always been a threat to democracy either way. They refuse to even address the idea that the central planning of state capitalism is inevitable, and that invisible market forces working for the good of all is a fairy tale with no basis in reality.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

One of the comments posted in Common Dreams under the article liked to in the OP is worth repeating here:

Quote:
What is missing in this definition of fascism is the class nature (in a Marxist sense) of what fascism is. Fascism arises when the capitalist ruling class can no longer maintain the system through the charade of "liberal democracy". When the working class sees through this charade and comes to the realization of how integral it is to capitalist class's supremacy and organizes against capitalism to the point of actually threatening its very continued existence, the capitalist class resorts to fascism. In other words, when "liberal democracy" no longer serves its purpose of maintaining class rule by the owners of production, the capitalist class abandons "bourgeois democracy" in favor of outright military dominance of the political system.

However, and sadly, there is no threat yet to the hegemony of the capitalist class in the USA. The working class is not rising up and threatening the destruction of the capitalist system. In fact, the left is very weak in the USA and the capitalist class is very successful in keeping the left weak and the working class completely subordinated.

From this analysis of what brings fascism to power, I don't see fascism anywhere close to being on the political agenda. There is simply no need for it when bourgeois "democracy" works so well in the interests of the capitalist class.

Compare the class struggle in pre-fascist times in Germany and Italy or Chile when communism actually threatened to overthrow the capitalist economic systems in those countries through the political domination of the left and you'll see what I'm talking about.

 

Note to "thanks": Fascism is not a manner of behaviour, but an actual form of capitalist state rule.


jrootham
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Joined: Jun 14 2001

Here it's not even close.  We do have a ruling party notable for it's authoritarian attitudes, but it has to keep hiding, or at least disguising them. When they leak they lose, notably in Quebec.  And we are so far away from the "Town Hells" it's ridiculous to make the comparison.

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Maybe fascism-lite in Canada, but it is fascism nevertheless. Capitalism is fascism with the mask on.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

And the mask is your beloved parliamentary democracy.


jrootham
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Joined: Jun 14 2001

No, it's not.  At least it's not by the standards of Sara Robinson and her colleagues.  Their definition includes particular organizational structures and processes.  Those are showing up in the US but not in Canada.

Could we please not  be sloppy with the fascist epithet?  I don't like the current government but describing it inaccurately dosn't strike me as the best tactic to get rid of it.

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

jrootham wrote:

No, it's not.  At least it's not by the standards of Sara Robinson and her colleagues.  Their definition includes particular organizational structures and processes.  Those are showing up in the US but not in Canada.

Is this a variation on the ad reducto Hitlerium warning? Does every instance of fascism have to be an exact duplicate of the last, as if we're talking about capitalist widgets rolling off a production line? We could drive an Exxon-Valdez oil tanker past that exclusive definition if such was the case.

We have political structures which are perfectly in-line with corporate fascism. Weve had corporate cronyism and socialism for the rich for many years. It's true Canada has some socialism in the form of universal health care, generous EI and welfare benefits at a time when fascism was on its heels somewhat politically in the early 1970's. Canada is a repository of natural wealth for corporate-fascist America to raid at will. Somebody's been on the take for a long time in Canada. And now even though the majority of Canadians are against the colder war military occupation of Afghanistan, our troops are still there and helping to prevent an outbreak of democracy


jrootham
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Joined: Jun 14 2001

Here's part 2 how to fight back.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Formerly an anti-communist, American William Blum says successive US governments and CIA have been directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of 20 to 30 million human beings since WW II. Not sure if includes nuclear holocaust in Japan or no. That's a lot more than the KKK and rightwing whacko militia groupees could ever have dreamed of purging without fervent nationalism and state foreign policy.


Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

M. Spector wrote:

Note to "thanks": Fascism is not a manner of behaviour, but an actual form of capitalist state rule.

Ever heard of the "Fascist personality"? A good movie to watch is Bernardo Bertolucci's 1970 "The Conformist". Here are traits of Fascism that are often present in or attract people to Fascism:

An appeal to emotions over logic and reason. The glorification of war. Authoritarianism. A firm belief in law and order. Support for and the need of collective security at the expense of civil liberties. The need for a "strong leader". Paranoia of those who are different from "us" - hence the "War of Terror"; fear of Islam; the treatment of Omar Khadr, Abousfian Abdelrazik and others (seeing them as a threat); fear of people from other countries, cultures, religions, etc.

Take a look at Harpo, the (reforma)Tories and their supporters. You will see it all there.


M. Spector
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Joined: Feb 19 2005

Right. So Canada is under fascist rule today?

Thanks for that penetrating insight.  


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

M. Spector wrote:

Right. So Canada is under fascist rule today?

No Canada is a highly developed liberal democracy whereby democratically elected leaders ensure that our natural resources and energy are accessible to all and benefits shared by all as derived through free markets. And our income distribution just so happens to be skewed toward an incredibly lucky but hard-working top 10% or so of enterprising Canadians. And god bless us every one.


Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

M. Spector wrote:

Right. So Canada is under fascist rule today?

Thanks for that penetrating insight.  

Yes.

Thanks for that compliment.


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

I find interesting Chris Hedges' notion of reverse totalitarianism. It explains how our system can dispense with jack-booted thugs.

 


Kaspar Hauser
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Joined: Aug 15 2004

deleted


jrootham
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Joined: Jun 14 2001

The following is a quote from the blog post that triggered this thread.  Some things about the Cons may match some things about Fascism, but I think it's clear that the following is not an immediate threat in Canada the same way it is in the US.

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."


Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

The commondreams article is more specific to the situation in the U.S. Canada isn't there yet, though there are alarming tendencies in that direction.

The beauty of psychologist professor Bob Altemeyer's "The Authoritarians" is that although "It's about how the 'Religious Right' teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country." - a process that brought Bush into the White House. His analysis is equally applicable to Canada. It's the same process that brought (and has kept) Harper and the Conservatives in(to) power:

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Fascist, authoritarian, "conformist" (see post #16) - these words are all interchangeable at some level, in my opinion.

Bob Altemeyer's work is available as a PDF download. Just google his name and "The Authoritarians". He also offers a way to reverse this trend.


jrootham
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Joined: Jun 14 2001

Yay Altemeyer!

Is it useful to conflate fascist with authoritarian and conformist?  Clearly they are related but by conflating them we make it harder to talk with precision about what is going on.  Further, if we through fascist about too much we can have our analysis rejected as alarmist.

Don't give the opposition cheap talking points.

 


Uncle John
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Joined: Feb 8 2008

The best way to get people to vote against your party is to call them racists and fascists.

At its core, fascism is "I know what's best for you, even if it means harming you".


Doug
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

Uncle John wrote:
The best way to get people to vote against your party is to call them racists and fascists. At its core, fascism is "I know what's best for you, even if it means harming you".

That's hardly an attitude that's unique to fascists.


Frmrsldr
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Joined: Mar 4 2009

Uncle John wrote:

The best way to get people to vote against your party is to call them racists and fascists.

Yes, you don't call them fascists. It takes some work, but to woo them away from parties with fascist tendencies, one must find common ground with them. Work with them on say, reversing environmental degredation (cleaning up the garbage) in one's community or a local stream. Find other similar areas of agreement and work with them on that. Through words and acts of encouragement and by leading by way of example, we can eventually improve our society. Inform, involve and inspire!Cool


Fotheringay-Phipps
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Joined: Aug 26 2008

I've probably said this before, but for the best possible analysis of ur-Fascism, the stem cell that recurs in different historical contexts, read Eternal Fascism by Umberto Eco. It's only available on the web as a precis, so if you get a chance read the full article, either in the New York Review of Books or in Eco's book Five Moral Pieces. Here's the link: http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_blackshirt.html


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Importing Fascism since 1947 Gore Vidal (YouTube)

 

Gore Vidal On the Bridge to Fascism Gore Vidal on the bridge to somewhere bad

 

 


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005
Uncle John
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Joined: Feb 8 2008

Perhaps fascism was born in America over 100 years ago anyway.


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