Sunday, April 04, 2010

Fascism in America

What do Fascists and Neo-conservatives have in common?  A great deal it turns out.  Most of us were not around during the 1920’s and 1930’s, but a quick reading of history provides some disturbing similarities.  What first got me thinking on this subject was how closely our current Tea Party hysteria and neo-conservative activism seems to resemble the fascist and NAZI hysterias of back then.  So, I looked into it a little more.  I wanted to see how many similarities there were:
WHEW!  What in Hell is going on here?  Yes, there are some dissimilarities too, but the overwhelming sense is we have a huge, Fascist component in our society today - and potentially growing.  They strenuously deny this of course, and even like to claim their opposition are Fascist.  But, the facts say completely differently as shown above.

Robert Paxton defines fascism in “The Anatomy of Fascism” 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 . . .”

History provides an example in Italy’s Benito Mussolini, often considered the father of Fascism, who deliberately tried to hide the true nature of his doctrine in ambiguity to attract more followers, saying fascists can be "aristocrats or democrats, revolutionaries and reactionaries, proletarians, and anti-proletarians, pacifists and anti-pacifists”.

At first people loved and admired  ‘Il Duce’ - after all, he ‘made the trains run on time’!  A decade later, the same phenomenon occurred when Adolph Hitler modeled Germany’s fascism on Mussolini’s and admired the success of the ancient Roman Empire.

We all know what happened over the next fifteen or twenty years. . . .

Our own country has had many examples of fascism, beginning with the Ku Klux Klan, which shares many, if not all, of the similarities in the chart above.   A close reading of fascism in the United States is alarming.  It has happened here.

Many well-known Americans were fascists, in deed, if not in name, people like Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Tom Watson of IBM, and of course, Joseph McCarthy .  American fascism is almost always supported by corporate America, many who wield more power than nations.

Prior to WWII, our own ‘Fifth Column’ in people like newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, openly supported German fascism.  Hearst, much like Rupert Murdock’s Fox News of today, fiercely campaigned in print against Roosevelt’s New Deal, with media statements like, “Is our free country piling up deficits, bleeding its citizens white with confiscatory taxation, rushing headlong into national bankruptcy, shoveling out our wealth abroad . . . “.  Sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it?

Many large American companies actively cooperated with Axis nations prior to the war.  IBM built punch-card census databases to identify Jews, and in doing so, heavily contributed to the horrors of the holocaust.  That was for cynical corporate profit only.  Ford, GM, Coca-Cola, Standard Oil, DuPont and many others all had numerous facilities throughout Italy and Germany which operated on behalf of the Axis powers, and further,  had their companies declared as ‘American Property’ not to be bombed or damaged by our forces.  Incredibly, after the war they qualified to collect for damages to their properties.

We seem to have a reincarnation of the same cancer among us today . . .

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