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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 05:57 PM
Original message
14 Elements of Fascism: a counter-argument
I know that the 14 elements of fascism are a bible around here, but I wanted to post my response to these and the reasons why I do not believe that the government is fascist. I encourage your thoughts and arguments.


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.

The government has not made constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Name them if you disagree. Flags are seen everywhere, but they're put there by private citizens. The government flags you see have always been there.

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.

You can argue this point, but I think that it's significant to Americans that this isn't happening to Americans, but to foreign fighters. One or two exceptions does not a trend make. Also, note the lack of summary executions and assassinations.

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.

The only foe that could fall into this category is "terrorists." Like the ones who took down the twin towers, bombed the Madrid trains, and the London underground and buses. Otherwise, the government has been very careful, regardless of the members' private feelings, to not blame any racial, ethnic, or religious minority, or liberals, communists, or socialists, 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.

I don't think anyone can argue against this point.

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.

This is entirely untrue. There are very powerful women in the government right now, and don't give me that "window-dressing" shit. Tell that to Rice, Hughes, Meyers, etc... Gender roles have not been made "more rigid." And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power.

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.

The media is neither directly nor indirectly controlled by the government, unless you include the ban on curse words on broadcast networks. Censorship is nowhere to be seen.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

This one is unarguable.

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.

This one is arguable because of the power of the religious right, but there hasn't been any more religious rhetoric coming out of this government than there was in the last government.

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.

Conceded.

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.

Labor power has been neither "eliminated entirely" nor "severely suppressed." Show me otherwise.

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.

The government has not promoted any hostility to higher education or academia. Professors and academics have been neither censored nor arrested. Free expression remains inviolable.

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.

There is no national police force, save the FBI, which does not have "almost limitless power to enforce laws."

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.

Conceded.

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.

This is arguable, and I would argue against it if I thought it would do any good. But the fact remains that national elections are generally run by county governments, Democrats and Republicans, in each state. I do not believe that there is national coordination. Needless to say, there have been no assassinations.


To wrap up, that is 4 points conceded, with maybe 3 or 4 highly dubious points that I think can be fairly argued. What do you think?
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Bunch of bull.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Do elaborate
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Read up on Friendly Fascism:
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. It depends on what you are looking at
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 06:05 PM by creeksneakers2
The official government doesn't do most of the dirty work. The vast right wing conspiracy does. For example, David Horowitz harasses professors.

The vast right wing conspiracy has power behind the government and gets away with all it can. The longer we go without recognizing the creeping fascism, the fewer points you will be able to absolve the official government of. Already we see examples of all the 14 points.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Well
You can probably see examples of the 14 points in any nation at any time. But the fact that the government is not doing these things, as you've conceded, is my point. In fascist countries, the government doesn't leave its dirty work to the likes of freelancing dingbats like David Horowitz.
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. I disagree about governments leaving dirty work
to third parties. Who were the brown shirts? In Iraq they have militias doing things the government would like to do. Other totalitarian countries have a party apparatus. I think the real test is who is pulling the strings. In our case, its fascists who haven't yet achieved their objectives.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. The brownshirts were Hitler's SA
which he remained commander of until 1945. They were hardly a third party. What is the American analog? There is none.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
57. Lynne Cheney is up to her eyeballs
in labeling "liberal" professors. I say that was a bit more than freelancing. Dingbat? yes
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. When you understand that the "government" is run by corporate lobbyists
much more than by constituencies of citizens, and that consensus is effectively manufactured by the media, only one or two of the 14 points are even in question.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I don't see the connection
Corporations lobby the government. Corporations have too much influence in government, certainly. But the people elect the government. Here comes your second argument. I think that to a point that is accurate, but that is going to be true in any country. People get most of their news information from the dominant media. But really inquisitive people get it elsewhere, from books to obscure and serious periodicals, to the internet. It's within a person's power to inform himself. The fact that most don't says nothing about the government or fascism, it just says something about dull people.
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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
43. Remember the 2004 democratic primaries?
The people seemed hell bent on electing Howard Dean, that is before the scream.

When the dominant media fails to pursue stories, or ask difficult questions, then they are functional tools of the government.

Elected to represent us, yet failing to do so by manipulating our desires through the above complicit media = fascism.

Are we to blame the sheep for acting like sheep? Or, can we acknowledge that the government and media together helped to create the sheep.



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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Your facts are wrong
First, Dean lost the Iowa caucus after squandering a 20 point lead. That's why he screamed in the first place. The media didn't sink him, the peoples' desire to nominate an "electable" leader did.

Secondly, that doesn't address my concern over the point about government interference in the media.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #45
55. Government interference in the media:
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. One by one
1. This article was written in 2000. And it would seem to be impossible that soldiers interning for CNN were affected editorial policy.

2. This needs to be investigated!

3. Government leaders talking to media personalities isn't really a big deal. They can incorporate the information into their reports or not.

4. I remember this now and it's heinous. Armstrong Williams pulled the same crap.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. More:
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. I see your point
but there is a difference between using information as tactics of war and using them to substantively lie to the public. This stuff is used to trick enemy forces, and its use to the American public is nonexistent. I'm not saying I'm 100% comfortable with it, but it's different.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. We don't get a different set of the 'real news'.
The US public was and is definitely influenced.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. But does it matter
if an attack on a city in Iraq happens today or if it happened yesterday? Again, not entirely comfortable with it, but it's a tactic of warfare and it has always been practiced.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #74
83. Does it matter if we hear about the wounded military or not?
Does it matter if there were WMDs in Iraq or not? Does it matter that the reason for invading Iraq has changed, over and over and over?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #83
87. Yes
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #87
92. How many people know how many have been wounded?
How many knew about conditions at Walter Reed before this last week?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. Who knows?
But they know about them now, and that's my point.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #95
113. MY point is we have been lied to for years.
Oh, finally the public hears about Walter Reed, and that means that it knew all along and that it has been ok to lie up until now? Or rather to manipulate the news so the public hasn't heard how many wounded and what conditions are at WR.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. B.S.
1. You confuse "regime" with "Government"
2. You confuse "American" with humanity
3. "the government has been very careful, regardless of the members' private feelings, to not blame any racial, ethnic, or religious minority, or liberals, communists, or socialists, etc" OMG, :rofl: What did Iraq have to do with 9/11?
4. right
5. Oh give us a break. Abortion rights are trying to be limited, as is marriage rights.
6. "Censorship is nowhere to be seen." :rofl: You aren't looking
7. true
8. Have you missed the fundamentalism of this gvt or do you really believe that?
9. true
10. Show us what has been unionized and dis-unionized.
11. "Free expression remains inviolable" Perhaps not outright removed if speak against the administration, but there sure as hell has been intimidation. Why do you hate America?
12. Ever heard of the Patriot Act? How about listening in on phone calls? How about sending people to Guantanamo if they aid or assist them terrorists? Habeas Corpus. Ever heard of that?
13. Am glad even you can see the cronyism
14. Smear campaigns and electoral cheating abound.

I think you are posting in the wrong place. Search is my friend. As are other DU options.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Ha! Hey-o!
1. Insofar as "regime" means "government" (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/regime ), then yes, I think I have the two confused. Which is to say, I don't.

2. I conceded that.

3. What does that have to do with my statement? No one argued that Iraq was responsible for 9/11.

5. Marriage rights ARE limited. The only reasonable way to say that the government is trying to limit abortion rights would be to say that Bush is trying to put pro-life judges on the Supreme Court. Then explain Harriet Meyers.

6. I think I am looking. I think you're looking too, and haven't found it, hence the lack of a citation.

8. I do believe it. I think Bush winks to the religious nuts, but so did Clinton. When has the government mentioned Jesus?

10. Show me where the government has cracked down on unions.

11. Show me where the government has asked people why they hate America.

12. Arguable point. I would say that the government does not have limitless power. You might disagree. This has been hashed out ad nauseum elsewhere.

14. Ditto.

Do you really think that these positions and membership in the Democratic Party are mutually exclusive? If you think that, then you need to get out more, buddy.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. Again, bs
3. The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe.
"The only foe that could fall into this category is "terrorists." Like the ones who took down the twin towers, bombed the Madrid trains, and the London underground and buses. Otherwise, the government has been very careful, regardless of the members' private feelings, to not blame any racial, ethnic, or religious minority, or liberals, communists, or socialists, etc." Why did the USA invade Iraq and why do they continue to occupy it? To stop those terrorists, to fight them there rather than here, etc etc etc. People are catching on.

5. No one can explain Harriet Meyers. Marriage rights are limited, homosexuals can't marry. "state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution" true.

6. How can I provide citation of gvt censoring media? How about, for instance, the coverage of the Iraq occupation? How many US military have been wounded? What has the media said about this?

8. What does mentioning Jesus has to do with anything? Bush does more than "wink to religious nuts".

10. Show us what has been unionized and dis-unionized since Bushites took power.

11. Are you saying that #1 has not led to not being able to express ones self freely?

12. 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.

Depends on your definition of "virtually unlimited power", and you ignored what I asked. I'll ask again: Ever heard of the Patriot Act? How about listening in on phone calls? How about sending people to Guantanamo if they aid or assist them terrorists? Habeas Corpus. Ever heard of that? Being opposed to the Patriot Act and for Habeas Corpus has been "hashed out ad nauseum elsewhere"? I suppose if I continue to do so I hate America, right?

14. Smear campaigns and electoral cheating abound. Just because it has been talked about doesn't mean it isn't happening and has been "hashed out ad nauseum elsewhere" either.


"Do you really think that these positions and membership in the Democratic Party are mutually exclusive?" Of course not. You are now widening your argument, strawman accusation perhaps. You say we do not have a fascism. WTF does that have to do with "these positions and democratic party"?

Call me ma'am, not buddy.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #34
46. Sorry ma'am
"6. How can I provide citation of gvt censoring media? How about, for instance, the coverage of the Iraq occupation? How many US military have been wounded? What has the media said about this?"

You and I and anyone who has turned on a TV in the last month know that over 3000 American GIs have been killed. Come on.

"8. What does mentioning Jesus has to do with anything? Bush does more than "wink to religious nuts". "

The original 14 points mentioned using the largest religion in a country. In this country, that's Christianity. Ain't no Christianity without the Christ himself.

"10. Show us what has been unionized and dis-unionized since Bushites took power. "

Do you really think that the government has dismantled unions and no one knows about it?

"11. Are you saying that #1 has not led to not being able to express ones self freely?"

Yes. What are we doing right here?

"Depends on your definition of "virtually unlimited power", and you ignored what I asked. I'll ask again: Ever heard of the Patriot Act? How about listening in on phone calls? How about sending people to Guantanamo if they aid or assist them terrorists? Habeas Corpus. Ever heard of that? Being opposed to the Patriot Act and for Habeas Corpus has been "hashed out ad nauseum elsewhere"? I suppose if I continue to do so I hate America, right?"

No, I oppose the free hand that Bush has taken with many of his initiatives. I'm not sure if the Patriot Act is unconstitutional, or listening in on transnational phone calls with terrorist suspects. Sending foreignors to Guantanamo isn't unconstitutional. And foreignors don't enjoy habeas corpus rights.

"14. Smear campaigns and electoral cheating abound. Just because it has been talked about doesn't mean it isn't happening and has been "hashed out ad nauseum elsewhere" either."

No, I know, I just didn't want to rehash the 2000-2004 elections on this website, and the threads that all of us have read. As I said, it's an arguable point.

""Do you really think that these positions and membership in the Democratic Party are mutually exclusive?" Of course not. You are now widening your argument, strawman accusation perhaps. You say we do not have a fascism. WTF does that have to do with "these positions and democratic party"?"

To post on this board, you must be in broad agreement with the goals of the Democratic Party. I am. You implied that I wasn't when you wrote that I might be posting in the same place. I just asked you if you thought that my ideas are not consistent with those of the Democratic Party, and would necessitate my posting this elsewhere. You said it, ma'am, not me. If you meant something else I'd be glad to entertain your explanation.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #56
80. Wounded. Here, let me say it again. Wounded. NOT dead. Wounded.
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 11:14 PM by uppityperson
Who has reported on the # wounded? Wounded. Not dead. Injured. Hurt. Harmed. Wounded. Wounded wounded wounded. Got it? Wounded. You continue to say dead, I am saying wounded. Any bit of yours I quoted was a direct quote. I call bs.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #80
86. Oh. Wounded.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. You and I and anyone who has turned on a TV in the last month know that over (how many)
American GIs have been wounded? How many?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #89
96. 20,000?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #46
82. "tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion."
are you saying fundamentalists, with their hand in hand with the administration, are NOT using their preaching to advance the administrations goals? Are you saying mrbush doesn't use "Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders"?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #82
88. Yeah
I have no idea what fundamentalist preachers are doing. Of course, Bush uses religious rhetoric and terminology, and so has every president in American history. I wish they wouldn't. I don't know if he uses it any more than any others have. Do you?

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. So you agree he does. OK, then you concede that point.
Or are you now only going to compare which other president's did what to excuse what this one is doing?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #90
98. No, my point is
that in America, which is a religious country, that's what politicians do. I'm not religious, so I don't really like it, but then again, I don't really care. When the government starts to tout one religion over another, let me know.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #98
108. Re:When the government starts to tout one religion over another, let me know.
Perhaps you haven't noticed the government's adversity to other god's other than the good christian god.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #108
110. You're right, I haven't
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ah, boy.
"The government has not made constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Name them if you disagree. Flags are seen everywhere, but they're put there by private citizens. The government flags you see have always been there."

The government has tried to pass laws barring flag burning. That's in direct contradiction with our own constitution. Sounds like fascism to me.

"You can argue this point, but I think that it's significant to Americans that this isn't happening to Americans, but to foreign fighters. One or two exceptions does not a trend make. Also, note the lack of summary executions and assassinations."

Jose Padilla is an American citizen. Furthermore, arguing that human rights violations isn't as bad if their not American sounds like fascism to me.

"The only foe that could fall into this category is "terrorists." Like the ones who took down the twin towers, bombed the Madrid trains, and the London underground and buses. Otherwise, the government has been very careful, regardless of the members' private feelings, to not blame any racial, ethnic, or religious minority, or liberals, communists, or socialists, etc..."

Oh, please. Politicians are going out of their way to associate Muslims with terrorists. You don't see Terry Nichols in Guantanamo, do you? You didn't see us bombing Michigan after OKC, did you? You haven't got Congressmen saying people shouldn't swear in on the Bible, do you? Virgil Goode sounds like fascism to me.

"I don't think anyone can argue against this point."

Neither do I. Look at Katrina.

"This is entirely untrue. There are very powerful women in the government right now, and don't give me that "window-dressing" shit. Tell that to Rice, Hughes, Meyers, etc... Gender roles have not been made "more rigid." And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power."

Gay rights are still suppressed. This government ran on a campaign based almost solely on suppressing gay rights.

As for women's rights:



Looks like fascism to me.

"The media is neither directly nor indirectly controlled by the government, unless you include the ban on curse words on broadcast networks. Censorship is nowhere to be seen."

I'd include the ban on curse words, the scandal over Janet Jackson's tit, the banning of John Lennon songs after 9-11, the White House organizing propaganda with Fox News, and the White House telling Bill Maher to "watch what you say." And then of course there's the outing of a CIA agent because her husband wrote a story the WH didn't like.

"This one is arguable because of the power of the religious right, but there hasn't been any more religious rhetoric coming out of this government than there was in the last government."

This administration makes Tehran's look secular by comparison. Clinton was religious, he sure as hell wasn't a fucking Creationist.

"Labor power has been neither "eliminated entirely" nor "severely suppressed." Show me otherwise."

The means of production are going overseas. Rich get richer, poor get poorer.

"The government has not promoted any hostility to higher education or academia. Professors and academics have been neither censored nor arrested. Free expression remains inviolable."

Horseshit. You've got WH administrators calling teacher labor unions "terrorist groups." You've got bills gutting student loan programs. You've got an organized effort to discredit global warming, which is an attack on academia if there ever was one. For fuck's sake, the president's a Creationist.

"There is no national police force, save the FBI, which does not have "almost limitless power to enforce laws."

There's no accountability for police brutality any more. You've got cops tasering kids in libraries. Police shooting people in cold blood and then other police show up and rally behind the killer.

"This is arguable, and I would argue against it if I thought it would do any good. But the fact remains that national elections are generally run by county governments, Democrats and Republicans, in each state. I do not believe that there is national coordination. Needless to say, there have been no assassinations."

Well, great. No assassinations. Widespread fraud. Republicans right and left going to jail for election fraud. But no assassinations.

:eyes:


"To wrap up, that is 4 points conceded, with maybe 3 or 4 highly dubious points that I think can be fairly argued. What do you think?"

I think you either haven't been paying attention to what's happened over the last six years, or you support it.










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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. To reply
"The government has tried to pass laws barring flag burning. That's in direct contradiction with our own constitution. Sounds like fascism to me."

The government can try to do whatever; the fact that it hasn't and won't helps prove my point. I agree with you about the unconstitutionality of the flag-burning amendment.

"Oh, please. Politicians are going out of their way to associate Muslims with terrorists. You don't see Terry Nichols in Guantanamo, do you? You didn't see us bombing Michigan after OKC, did you? You haven't got Congressmen saying people shouldn't swear in on the Bible, do you? Virgil Goode sounds like fascism to me."

Show me one example of the ruling government "going out of its way to associate Muslims with terrorists." Terry Nichols isn't in Guantanamo because he's not suspected of being part of Al Qaeda. Virgil Goode is an insignificant ass and was listened to by no one with a brain in their heads. Again, his ineffectuality is more proof of my point.

"Gay rights are still suppressed. This government ran on a campaign based almost solely on suppressing gay rights."

This represents no change over past campaigns, and the two main political parties are in agreement about gay marriage. Again, I disagree with their views.

I don't know what that picture was you posted.

"I'd include the ban on curse words, the scandal over Janet Jackson's tit, the banning of John Lennon songs after 9-11, the White House organizing propaganda with Fox News, and the White House telling Bill Maher to "watch what you say." And then of course there's the outing of a CIA agent because her husband wrote a story the WH didn't like."

I wouldn't include banning curse words or nudity on prime time television. That's the way it's always been, and more and more gets allowed every day. Not a single John Lennon song was banned after 9/11 and I defy you to show me otherwise. I have no idea if the White House coordinates with Fox News. It might, I would believe it, but I don't know that it is so. I don't think Ari Fleischer, when he said "watch what you say," was threatening government action against dissent. Can you demonstrate that he was? I don't know enough about the outing of Valerie Plame to comment, and neither does anyone here.

"This administration makes Tehran's look secular by comparison. Clinton was religious, he sure as hell wasn't a fucking Creationist."

That's an exaggeration and you know it. Is Bush on the record about creationism? If he is, I'll concede this point.

"Horseshit. You've got WH administrators calling teacher labor unions "terrorist groups." You've got bills gutting student loan programs. You've got an organized effort to discredit global warming, which is an attack on academia if there ever was one. For fuck's sake, the president's a Creationist."

Who called teacher's unions "terrorist groups?" I seem to recall that, but I don't remember from where. Bills gutting student loan programs has nothing to do with attacks on academia. Neither does global warming.

"There's no accountability for police brutality any more. You've got cops tasering kids in libraries. Police shooting people in cold blood and then other police show up and rally behind the killer."

Police departments are locally administered.


To sum up, I have been paying attention to what's been going on the last six years, and I've voted Democrat in every election. But the question is: is the United States government fascist? My argument is that it is not. I'm making a point about hyperbole damaging an otherwise valid argument, a point that you've helped me make.
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smokey nj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Rod Paige, Secretary of Education (2001 - 2005) called the NEA a terrorist organization
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Well you won't catch me defending that!
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. To reply...
1. Yes, the government can do whatever it wants. And if it wants to do fascist things, it's gonna get called fascist.

2. "Show me one example of the ruling government "going out of its way to associate Muslims with terrorists." Terry Nichols isn't in Guantanamo because he's not suspected of being part of Al Qaeda. Virgil Goode is an insignificant ass and was listened to by no one with a brain in their heads. Again, his ineffectuality is more proof of my point."

I showed you several. Terry Nichols isn't going to Guantanamo because he's a white Christian. Virgil Goode is an insignificant ass, yes. He's also a fascist.

3. "This represents no change over past campaigns, and the two main political parties are in agreement about gay marriage. Again, I disagree with their views."

It's a major change. No candidates ever ran on a gay bashing platform before. That's like saying Adolf Hitler wasn't a fascist, because there were antisemites around before.

4. "I don't know what that picture was you posted. "

I'm not surprised.

5. "I don't know enough about the outing of Valerie Plame to comment, and neither does anyone here."

Valerie Plame was outed, because her husband wrote a media story that Cheney didn't like. If you don't know that, maybe you should pay more attention.

6. "That's an exaggeration and you know it. Is Bush on the record about creationism? If he is, I'll concede this point."

Yes. Bush is on the record about Creationism. Have you been living in a cave?

7. "Who called teacher's unions "terrorist groups?""

Rod Paige.

"Bills gutting student loan programs has nothing to do with attacks on academia."

Um, yes, it does.

"Neither does global warming."

Sure it does. It's just like Creationism.

8. "Police departments are locally administered."

Police departments are locally administered, and when they don't police themselves, it's up to federal government to take care of business, specifically the Attorney General. Unfortunately, the last two Attorney Generals were both clear fascists. One was a white supremacist, the other's a torture apologist.

"To sum up, I have been paying attention to what's been going on the last six years, and I've voted Democrat in every election."

To sum it up, I don't believe you.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
84. "To sum it up, I don't believe you."
If someone doesn't think that America is controlled by a fascist government then they're a republican? That line of reasoning will win us a LOT of votes come November 2008! <sarcasm>
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
105. Dogg, why you gotta accuse me of bad faith?
I'm just tryin to interact with yo ass.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. You are right, the US is not a fascist regime today
But it could be, or was, sliding that way, and those 14 symptoms helped illustrate that. They showed how some of Bushco's crap could lead to it.

I think there is more danger in the attitude that foreigners don't get any human rights, because if they are willing to start with the foreigners, soon they will be moving that to U.S. "terrorists" - Jose Padilla is a U.S. citizen. We have to be willing to let the Bill of Rights apply to aliens - if we don't, we are creating a class at birth entitled to the "special privilege" of justice when they are accused - something at the very foundation of what made the U.S. different when it was created. And creating a class of "subhumans" who can be punished without proof, detained without charge, etc., based on a ground of birth, that they weren't born in the U.S. or of a U.S. citizen.

I also don't believe that Gitmo is a battlefield. Once they brought people there, they no longer had the battlefield justification. Those individuals are not able to fight back from their prison cells. That came out of Bushco's original ridiculous proposition, stated in the Padilla case, that the whole world was now a battleground, including the U.S. Lawyers for Bushco argued that the entire US was a battleground, where there were no rights. That's a fascist mentality, and those were the people running the executive branch.

Nowadays I am more optimistic, due to the Democratic victory in November, that the American sheeple have woken up to what Bushco was trying to do, and finally put him on notice they aren't going to let fear of terra turn us into a police state.

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eddy51 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. you forgot the sarcasm icon nm
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
17. your point is realistic. even if your rhetoric is a bit edgy
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 07:59 PM by 0rganism
I mean come on, "like a bible around here"? What is that supposed to mean?

Anyway, I'd posit that generally posters at DU are more concerned with an increased tendency on the part of Americans to embrace fascism and its various components, than the actuality of fascism -- which we do not live under yet.

As you say, some of the elements are beyond argument. 4, 7, 9 and 13, a resounding yes to all. That alone should be cause enough for concern.

I think you underestimate the strength of the arguments for a few of the others -- #2, for instance: Jose Padilla and Brandon Mayfield would probably take issue with your contention that "exceptional procedure" doesn't happen to American citizens. But going beyond that, since this is really about human rights, the system in place for "foreign fighters" as you call them begs the question: how are you sure the Guantanemo detainees are all foreign fighters? Have they been convicted of such in a civilian court of law, or even by military tribunal? Certainly some of them are innocent even by the current administration's standards, since a few have been released. Offering cash incentives to impoverished people in Afghanistan in payment for implicating someone they wouldn't mind harming is hardly sound intelligence practice -- more of an invitation to witch-hunt. And then we have the case of the Canadian citizen "extraordinarily rendered" to Syria for torture by the CIA, which hardly speaks well of our recognition of human rights. By many accounts, this is now happening on a regular basis, dozens of times in the last few years. Your contention that the government does not express absolute contempt for human rights must be weighed against the violations we certainly do see at the federal level, which indicate a willingness to pay lip service to the concept when necessary while looking the other way when convenient.

And look at #3 -- "terrorists", you say? Hmm, what image comes to mind when we speak of terrorists? Do we include our own homegrown variety in this assessment? Abortion clinic bombers like Eric Rudolph, white militia members like Tim McVeigh? Is it applied equally across the board? No, sorry, the administration has pretty much restricted the use of the term to two groups: those who occupy nations they would like to invade (Iraqi leaders, for instance), and those who use freshly-redefined "terrorism" to advance goals in opposition to Republican lobby group interests (ELF, e.g.).

What the administration's use of the term "terrorist" does in practice is brand all who openly oppose their financial and ideological interests as expendable and disenfranchisable. Then observe how they warp and twist the notion of "aiding and abetting" to apply to those who stand against them in congress or in the voting booth. Strangely enough, the right wing punditry has found it possible to equate fanatical arabic suicide bombers and guerilla fighters with secular domestic peace acitivists and environmentalists.

Try harder to separate the effects of administration policies from the rhetoric used to sell it to the population. You'll see the problem immediately.

This leads, of course, to the control of mass media #6. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the giant corporations which control the mass media are by and large the same ones who bought the government. The administration gets a free ride and free air time to make the sale.

However, as we've seen, the American people are not entirely content with the way things are going under this administration's leadership. It is unlikely that the bushistas will be able to push the nation into an even more authoritarian setting at this point, if only because they unwisely wasted their own credibility along with every other advantage they had in 2001.

Yes, it is unlikely that we will reach a complete totalitarian situation under this regime. The concern is that we swung too far, too fast in that direction.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. Lob
"how are you sure the Guantanemo detainees are all foreign fighters? Have they been convicted of such in a civilian court of law, or even by military tribunal? Certainly some of them are innocent even by the current administration's standards, since a few have been released. Offering cash incentives to impoverished people in Afghanistan in payment for implicating someone they wouldn't mind harming is hardly sound intelligence practice -- more of an invitation to witch-hunt. And then we have the case of the Canadian citizen "extraordinarily rendered" to Syria for torture by the CIA, which hardly speaks well of our recognition of human rights. By many accounts, this is now happening on a regular basis, dozens of times in the last few years. Your contention that the government does not express absolute contempt for human rights must be weighed against the violations we certainly do see at the federal level, which indicate a willingness to pay lip service to the concept when necessary while looking the other way when convenient."

This has to do with Bush's nightmarish prosecution of his foreign wars, and nothing to do with domestic policy. If that changes, if we see more Jose Padillas out there, then I will change my mind.

"And look at #3 -- "terrorists", you say? Hmm, what image comes to mind when we speak of terrorists? Do we include our own homegrown variety in this assessment? Abortion clinic bombers like Eric Rudolph, white militia members like Tim McVeigh? Is it applied equally across the board? No, sorry, the administration has pretty much restricted the use of the term to two groups: those who occupy nations they would like to invade (Iraqi leaders, for instance), and those who use newly-defined "terrorism" to advance goals in opposition to Republican lobby group interests (ELF, e.g.)."

That's a fair point, but as I pointed out elsewhere, Eric Rudolph and McVeigh are not members of a global terrorism network, and every politician in the country would (and has) called them terrorists. And the ELF certainly are terrorists, aren't they?

"What the administration's use of the term "terrorist" does in practice is brand all who openly oppose their financial and ideological interests as expendable and disenfranchisable. Then observe how they warp and twist the notion of "aiding and abetting" to apply to those who stand against them in congress or in the voting booth."

I don't agree. Are Castro and Chavez designated as terrorists?

"This leads, of course, to the control of mass media #6. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the giant corporations which control the mass media are by and large the same ones who bought the government. The administration gets a free ride and free air time to make the sale."

I don't see it. I think Bush is getting toasted in the media, and his poll numbers demonstrate that.

"However, as we've seen, the American people are not entirely content with the way things are going under this administration's leadership. It is unlikely that the bushistas will be able to push the nation into an even more authoritarian setting at this point, if only because they unwisely wasted their own credibility along with every other advantage they had in 2001.

Yes, it is unlikely that we will reach a complete totalitarian situation under this regime. The concern is that we swung too far, too fast in that direction."

I'll drink to that. But it's not so much a function of having swung too far, too fast, although there are several examples of this that I have conceded. I think it's the combination of arrogance, lack of candor, lack of intelligence, and utter incompetence of the Bush administration in nearly everything it has done that has really turned the country off. We shall see what happens in the next few years.
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MoseyWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
18. I see this sentence as bringing into question
your entire series of arguments.

"One or two exceptions does not a trend make."

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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Why?
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MoseyWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I guess my first thought was
if someone is willing to allow a small number of "exceptions" to exist without feeling the rule of law has broken down is coming from a direction where I don't go. Nothing personal, and you do have some thoughtful ideas to be debated. I look forward to further discussion.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. I agree
about Jose Padilla. I guess the government was trying to see what it could get away with. But it hasn't been able to get away with this on anything more than a small scale, which demonstrates my point. Thanks for your response.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
22. CORRECTION
"And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power."

This statement should read "And divorce, abortion, and rights for homosexuals have all INCREASED since this government took power. It's too late to edit it and I typed that sloppily. There is no evidence that homosexuality itself has increased, heh.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. Prove that.
Numbers and citations. What rights for homosexuals have increased since this gvt took power? What numbers on abortions and divorce increasing (show us increased % per population)?

Next you will say the population has increased since this gvt took power and they get credit for that also.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #37
51. What?
Gay marriage is now legal in Massachussetts. Civil unions are now legal in NJ and some other states.

On abortion, I found this article: (http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:d0TniO2D1GwJ:www.s... ).

It says this:

"Enter George W. Bush in 2001. One would expect the abortion rate to continue its consistent course downward, if not plunge. Instead, the opposite happened.

I found three states that have posted multi-year statistics through 2003, and abortion rates have risen in all three: Kentucky's increased by 3.2% from 2000 to 2003. Michigan's increased by 11.3% from 2000 to 2003. Pennsylvania's increased by 1.9% from 1999 to 2002. I found 13 additional states that reported statistics for 2001 and 2002. Eight states saw an increase in abortion rates (14.6% average increase), and five saw a decrease (4.3% average decrease).

Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction. "

I also found this article which disputes that, so who knows? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20... )

On divorce, it looks like I'm wrong as hell (http://www.divorcereform.org/rates.html ). Oops!

But I'm right on homosexual rights and lord knows who's right on abortion statistics.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
24. Rebuttal...
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.

The government has not made constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Name them if you disagree. Flags are seen everywhere, but they're put there by private citizens. The government flags you see have always been there

Do the words Cut and Run mean anything? Emboldening the terrorists? With us or against us? Support the Troops. These are all slogans, small and easy to digest that deflects attention from discussion of the real issues.

The Administrations use of the American flag has become almost Nazi-esque. MSM News (Fox particularly) use the flag prominently in its broadcasts. Unusual, unless you consider the MSM as the propaganda wing.

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.

You can argue this point, but I think that it's significant to Americans that this isn't happening to Americans, but to foreign fighters. One or two exceptions does not a trend make. Also, note the lack of summary executions and assassinations.

Human Rights include your right to habeas corpus. Last time I checked that went through the shredder. Human Rights is not just your right not to be tortured to death in a slaughterhouse.

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.

The only foe that could fall into this category is "terrorists." Like the ones who took down the twin towers, bombed the Madrid trains, and the London underground and buses. Otherwise, the government has been very careful, regardless of the members' private feelings, to not blame any racial, ethnic, or religious minority, or liberals, communists, or socialists, etc...

But can you see how they are targeted at home? Just because Bush hasnt blamed 9/11 on liberals yet, doesnt mean there isnt a concerted effort to undermine and marginalise them.

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.

I don't think anyone can argue against this point.

Agreed.

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.

This is entirely untrue. There are very powerful women in the government right now, and don't give me that "window-dressing" shit. Tell that to Rice, Hughes, Meyers, etc... Gender roles have not been made "more rigid." And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power.

Divorce, abortion and homosexuality have absolutely ZERO to do with discrimination based on gender.

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.

The media is neither directly nor indirectly controlled by the government, unless you include the ban on curse words on broadcast networks. Censorship is nowhere to be seen.

You seem to have had your head in the sand since 2000. The media has been consistently pro-Republican, pro-right-wing, pro-pro-life etc etc etc since 2000. And Ill bet that its not because of journalistic integrity.

Watch Outfoxed: Rupert Murdochs War on Journalism. Fox News is the Propaganda Wing of the Republican Party.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

This one is unarguable.

Agreed.

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.

This one is arguable because of the power of the religious right, but there hasn't been any more religious rhetoric coming out of this government than there was in the last government.

The difference is not between administrations. Compare America to Europe. American politics is far more religionised simply because your country has such a religious population. I think its a safe bet that you need to an overt Christian if you want a shot at the White House. And I mean a serious shot, not some bullshit nomination that falls down in 2 weeks. Atheists wouldnt get a look in.

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.

Conceded.

Agreed.

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.

Labor power has been neither "eliminated entirely" nor "severely suppressed." Show me otherwise.

Youre far too literal. The working class of America has had its jobs moved overseas for a decade. Please explain how removing millions of jobs from the job market is NOT suppressing labour power. If there are fewer jobs, then people will need to compete for them, as in taking less benefits or a lower hourly rate. This is directly suppressing labours power to negotiate.

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.

The government has not promoted any hostility to higher education or academia. Professors and academics have been neither censored nor arrested. Free expression remains inviolable.

Intelligent decision theory much? This Administration has a hatred for science.

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.

There is no national police force, save the FBI, which does not have "almost limitless power to enforce laws."

America has the highest jail population per capita and executes the most people. Not an obsession? The Military Commissions Act does give virtually unlimited power.

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.

Conceded.

Agreed.

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.

This is arguable, and I would argue against it if I thought it would do any good. But the fact remains that national elections are generally run by county governments, Democrats and Republicans, in each state. I do not believe that there is national coordination. Needless to say, there have been no assassinations.

I think theres plenty of people here who can provide evidence of smear campaigns againstuse 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. But hey, they havent assassinated anyone so it must be wrong.

Nice try, but you are countering the specificity of the article and how it does not apply exactly to the current Administration and using that as a bridge to say the entire article is wrong. All 14 points apply to the Bush Administration in some shape or form.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Welcom to DU,Blashyrkh !
Excellent rebuttal. :toast:
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MoseyWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Your first post
and I don't know if anyone could have written a rebuttal in a more clear and concise manner. I'm impressed (but that doesn't count for much, because I'm a doofus).

Great rebuttal!
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. Thanks for the welcome guys.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Okay
"Do the words Cut and Run mean anything? Emboldening the terrorists? With us or against us? Support the Troops. These are all slogans, small and easy to digest that deflects attention from discussion of the real issues."

That's a good argument. The opposite argument, I suppose, would be that these phrases are substantive policy positions ("emboldening the terrorists", "cut and run", and "support the troops") or rhetorical flourish in a major address ("with us or against us") meant to intimidate foreign countries, not the domestic population.

"The Administrations use of the American flag has become almost Nazi-esque. MSM News (Fox particularly) use the flag prominently in its broadcasts. Unusual, unless you consider the MSM as the propaganda wing."

Has the administration used the flag more than any other? And the MSM's use of the flag is an attempt to cash in on patriotic sentiment around the country and nothing more.

"But can you see how they are targeted at home? Just because Bush hasnt blamed 9/11 on liberals yet, doesnt mean there isnt a concerted effort to undermine and marginalise them."

No, show me. What is the nature of the effort?

"Divorce, abortion and homosexuality have absolutely ZERO to do with discrimination based on gender."

They are mentioned in the 14 elements, and you're responding to my response to them. Tell me how the government has discriminated based on gender.

"You seem to have had your head in the sand since 2000. The media has been consistently pro-Republican, pro-right-wing, pro-pro-life etc etc etc since 2000. And Ill bet that its not because of journalistic integrity.

Watch Outfoxed: Rupert Murdochs War on Journalism. Fox News is the Propaganda Wing of the Republican Party."

I saw a pro-Republican bias in the media after 9/11, but not in a long time. The bloom is off the rose, I think. It's another example of the media responding to shifts in opinion among the US population- a selfish economic gambit, nothing more. When the US swung against Bush, so did the media. Fox is different because it is explicitly conservative, and no one can seriously argue otherwise.

"The difference is not between administrations. Compare America to Europe. American politics is far more religionised simply because your country has such a religious population. I think its a safe bet that you need to an overt Christian if you want a shot at the White House. And I mean a serious shot, not some bullshit nomination that falls down in 2 weeks. Atheists wouldnt get a look in."

Given. But this is only because Americans are far more religious than Europeans, not because American politicians are far more religious than European ones (although they probably are). Politicians, like the media, give the people what they ask for.

"Youre far too literal. The working class of America has had its jobs moved overseas for a decade. Please explain how removing millions of jobs from the job market is NOT suppressing labour power. If there are fewer jobs, then people will need to compete for them, as in taking less benefits or a lower hourly rate. This is directly suppressing labours power to negotiate."

What has moved those jobs? Economic forces, not government.

"Intelligent decision theory much? This Administration has a hatred for science."

This is a sop to the religious nuts, and if science gets trampled for the sake of politics, so be it. I don't see this as an attack on academia so much as an attack on common sense.

"America has the highest jail population per capita and executes the most people. Not an obsession? The Military Commissions Act does give virtually unlimited power."

I oppose the death penalty, but America does not execute the most people. I believe China does. I agree that America has too much of an obsession with law and order, hence fiascoes like the drug war. But I think this is more of a schoolmarmish quality than a fascist one, and it's largely supported by the people.

"Nice try, but you are countering the specificity of the article and how it does not apply exactly to the current Administration and using that as a bridge to say the entire article is wrong. All 14 points apply to the Bush Administration in some shape or form."

That's what one learns to do in law school. And I think that if one tries hard enough, he can apply all 14 points to any country in the world. This is just an intellectual exercise, and so far, a fun and informative one.
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
47. And again...
"Do the words Cut and Run mean anything? Emboldening the terrorists? With us or against us? Support the Troops. These are all slogans, small and easy to digest that deflects attention from discussion of the real issues."

That's a good argument. The opposite argument, I suppose, would be that these phrases are substantive policy positions ("emboldening the terrorists", "cut and run", and "support the troops") or rhetorical flourish in a major address ("with us or against us") meant to intimidate foreign countries, not the domestic population.

I would not call Cut and Run a substantive policy position. I agree they are a rhetorical flourish. Public speaking needs to have some flair. But at the same time, they are designed to be short and sweet (three words is standard) and they are repeated ad nauseum. Its a propaganda tool. The three words become the standard by which everyone is judged.

"The Administrations use of the American flag has become almost Nazi-esque. MSM News (Fox particularly) use the flag prominently in its broadcasts. Unusual, unless you consider the MSM as the propaganda wing."

Has the administration used the flag more than any other? And the MSM's use of the flag is an attempt to cash in on patriotic sentiment around the country and nothing more.

I cant answer that one way or the other but my personal opinion is yes. I certainly agree MSM is exploiting the patriotic sentiment, but I dont agree that thats all there is to it. Fox News is a great example of how news and patriotism are mushed together as propaganda.

"But can you see how they are targeted at home? Just because Bush hasnt blamed 9/11 on liberals yet, doesnt mean there isnt a concerted effort to undermine and marginalise them."

No, show me. What is the nature of the effort?

I should provide background. I do not see the Administration and the Media as two separate entities. I see them as two divisions of the same company.

With that in mind; all the media attacks against liberals or publicly recognised liberal issues (pro-choice, homosexuality) are pseudo-attacks from the government.

I understand if you dont see the media and government in the way I do, which would make it difficult for you to see my point of view.

"Divorce, abortion and homosexuality have absolutely ZERO to do with discrimination based on gender."

They are mentioned in the 14 elements, and you're responding to my response to them. Tell me how the government has discriminated based on gender.

You said And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power as a closing argument as to why the Administration has not engaged in discrimination based on gender. I said they were irrelevant.

Frankly, I cant give you specific examples. I dont live in your country, nor do I follow your political machinations that closely, as least not on discrimination issues.

"You seem to have had your head in the sand since 2000. The media has been consistently pro-Republican, pro-right-wing, pro-pro-life etc etc etc since 2000. And Ill bet that its not because of journalistic integrity.

Watch Outfoxed: Rupert Murdochs War on Journalism. Fox News is the Propaganda Wing of the Republican Party."

I saw a pro-Republican bias in the media after 9/11, but not in a long time. The bloom is off the rose, I think. It's another example of the media responding to shifts in opinion among the US population- a selfish economic gambit, nothing more. When the US swung against Bush, so did the media. Fox is different because it is explicitly conservative, and no one can seriously argue otherwise.

Granted, the media has toned down its pro-Bush stances. However, the MSM has been there for Bush for all the important events. 9/11 could not have been pulled out without a complicit media. The invasion and occupation of Iraq could not have been pulled off without a complicit media. I certainly agree the media will bend depending on the issue, but for all the big ones, the media has had Georges back.

"The difference is not between administrations. Compare America to Europe. American politics is far more religionised simply because your country has such a religious population. I think its a safe bet that you need to an overt Christian if you want a shot at the White House. And I mean a serious shot, not some bullshit nomination that falls down in 2 weeks. Atheists wouldnt get a look in."

Given. But this is only because Americans are far more religious than Europeans, not because American politicians are far more religious than European ones (although they probably are). Politicians, like the media, give the people what they ask for.

Exactly my point. Religion is such a huge part of so many Americans lives, that it is impossible to separate church and state. Ill leave it at that.

"Youre far too literal. The working class of America has had its jobs moved overseas for a decade. Please explain how removing millions of jobs from the job market is NOT suppressing labour power. If there are fewer jobs, then people will need to compete for them, as in taking less benefits or a lower hourly rate. This is directly suppressing labours power to negotiate."

What has moved those jobs? Economic forces, not government.

I would think that if the Administration was keen to keep those jobs in America then the appropriate action would have been taken.

"Intelligent decision theory much? This Administration has a hatred for science."

This is a sop to the religious nuts, and if science gets trampled for the sake of politics, so be it. I don't see this as an attack on academia so much as an attack on common sense.
I cant disagree with your last comment.

"America has the highest jail population per capita and executes the most people. Not an obsession? The Military Commissions Act does give virtually unlimited power."

I oppose the death penalty, but America does not execute the most people. I believe China does. I agree that America has too much of an obsession with law and order, hence fiascoes like the drug war. But I think this is more of a schoolmarmish quality than a fascist one, and it's largely supported by the people.

American executions are legal actions of the state. I think the Chinese putting bullets in the backs of peoples heads does not come under the same category. The difference between overt and covert fascism? Supported by the people doesnt make it not fascist.

"Nice try, but you are countering the specificity of the article and how it does not apply exactly to the current Administration and using that as a bridge to say the entire article is wrong. All 14 points apply to the Bush Administration in some shape or form."

That's what one learns to do in law school. And I think that if one tries hard enough, he can apply all 14 points to any country in the world. This is just an intellectual exercise, and so far, a fun and informative one.

Then law school is for simpletons.

I agree entirely that most points can be applied to most governments, even my native Australia, particularly my native Australia. I think most of those points are inherent of our model of capitalism.

You might have a hard time with places like Scandinavia though.

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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #47
62. Thanks, mate!
Greetings to Australia from the good old US of A.

"Fox News is a great example of how news and patriotism are mushed together as propaganda."

Given.

"With that in mind; all the media attacks against liberals or publicly recognised liberal issues (pro-choice, homosexuality) are pseudo-attacks from the government.

I understand if you dont see the media and government in the way I do, which would make it difficult for you to see my point of view."

I dig. I just can't say that the media is an arm of the government, or owned by the same people, if I don't know it to be true. I understand your argument though.

"You said And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power as a closing argument as to why the Administration has not engaged in discrimination based on gender. I said they were irrelevant."

It wasn't a closing argument, I was addressing a separate point under that heading in the original 14 points.

"I certainly agree the media will bend depending on the issue, but for all the big ones, the media has had Georges back."

Right, but these events were all when the US public had Bush's back: 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc...

"I would think that if the Administration was keen to keep those jobs in America then the appropriate action would have been taken."

Such as... asking the corporations really nicely not to cut their costs by having their trinkets built in Thailand? Come on, corporations serve their bottom line. I guess Bush could've repealed NAFTA, but I don't think Congress would've gone for that.

"American executions are legal actions of the state. I think the Chinese putting bullets in the backs of peoples heads does not come under the same category. The difference between overt and covert fascism? Supported by the people doesnt make it not fascist."

True. But an execution is an execution is an execution. I don't like 'em. I don't think we ought to do 'em. I was just arguing against that specific point you made.

"Then law school is for simpletons."

No, it's useful. When you're arguing against a particular legal point, you have to point out why that point doesn't fit the established facts or some Supreme Court decision or something. You have to go by the letter, and that's admittedly what I was doing.

"I agree entirely that most points can be applied to most governments, even my native Australia, particularly my native Australia. I think most of those points are inherent of our model of capitalism.

You might have a hard time with places like Scandinavia though."

Maybe. I see your point about Australia, capitalism, etc... I've been to Sweden and Denmark and thought they rocked. Who knows? I'm sure they've got their own problems.

Rock on.
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ls317 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #31
117. Welcome aboard
You forgot "stay the course"
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
38. welcome and excellent
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Blashyrkh Donating Member (816 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #38
50. Thanks.
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Jonathan50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
28. Smear campaigns against opposition candidates.
Classic example:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2002-10-13-iraq...

* Georgia. Images of both bin Laden and Saddam are on the screen in a TV ad that Georgia Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss began airing Friday in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Max Cleland. The ad attacks Cleland as weak and "misleading" on homeland security.

That triggered a bitter denunciation from Cleland, a decorated Vietnam veteran who lost both legs and an arm in that war.

"The attack leveled against me disrespects everything I have worked for throughout my life," Cleland said. He called the ad "the most vicious exploitation of a national tragedy and attempt at character assassination I have ever witnessed. My opponent not only attacked my honor, he attacked the very fiber of my being."
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cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
32. On point 5
Bush for the most part has hired strong women who work for rather than against the patriarchy. Rice, for example, is both a traitor to her gender and her race. She knows better but choses to do cooperate with Bush. She worships her "husband." Look at Bush's attempt to put Harriet Meyers on the Supreme Court. These women he surrounds himself with are stooges. Sells outs. Traitors. It's philosophically impossible to be a Republican and a feminist.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. Two points
First, do Rice, Hughes, and Meyers have power? If so, then my point is proven. If not, then it isn't.

Secondly, for the sake of argument, how are they traitors to their genders and races?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. what power does meyers have?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #39
52. She was Bush's personal counsel
She has the power to tell him what's legal and what's illegal.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #52
81. Harriet Meyers has the power to tell bush what's legal & illegal?
I have the power to tell him, and so does the 20 yr old next door. As much power as Meyers has. You do realize that she is NOT a supreme court justice, right? Or attorney general?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #81
99. Sure
but when you tell him, he doesn't listen. When she tells him, she does. She's his lawyer. That's what he pays her for.
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U4ikLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #99
114. Prove he listens to her & acts upon her advice over others. n/t
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cgrindley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. If you are doing the bidding of the dark one
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 09:05 PM by cgrindley
then you have no power, even if you are ruling the earth.

Secondly, Rice is a traitor to her gender by working for a party that actively wishes to curtail their current rights and freedoms. In addition...and with regard to race... HURRICANE KATRINA. Good going, Rice.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #44
53. No, if you are ruling the earth
then you have power, regardless of your arrangement with the Dark One.

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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
33. Response
1. Nationalism is what the "War on Terror" is all about. It's us against them. You're either with us or you're against us. The AMerican way of life is not negotiable, etc.

2. Iraq and Afganistan wars are both examples of human rights violations brought about through fear of enemies and concern for our security. Guatonomo, Abu Ghraib, etc.

3. The new fascism identifies enemies not necessarily by skin color or ethnicity or religion, but predominantly by ideology. Your're either with us or your're against us...

4. Yep.

5. To me, as I look deeply and reflect on our mindset historically, I see our present government as extremely sexist, in the sense that even though we have women in powerful positions, their thoughts and actions are those of traditional males. The 21st century is vastly different than the 20th with respect to tradition. This is especially applicable to Rice-I can't thing of a single male friend who is not more feminine in their thinking and being than she is. Where is the female voice in american politics? It hardly exists formally. An honest debate going on within our government with voices echoing Cindy Sheehan would indicate the presense of the female voice in our culture. We've got a long way to go before this happens.

6. Cut and paste: "the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common". Research media consolidation in the mid 1990's. I think it was the telecommunications act of 1995 or so that paved the way for this. Corporate media and government will probably never get caught because it is understood that their individual goals dovetail nicely. It's a scratching eachother's back kind of thing. Modern censorship is about not telling some stories, rather than eliminating them outright. It's a numbers game. Yes, there is an alternative media which is largely not censored, but this media reaches what percentage of the population? Is it censorship for main stream media to not cover the more hideous aspects of what's going on? Probably not as censorship has traditionally been defined, but again, the effects are much like with #5. If the message of the opposition is not heard, then it is de-facto censorship, even if it is not called such, or if the mechanism has changed. Do you know of Sibel Edmonds? How many documents over the past six years are unavailable due to national security concerns?

7. Yep.

8. Well, it was religious voter turnout which led to the present administration. They successfully framed the debate to get singel issue religious voters to the polls which was a precondition to their plans. Since then, we've seen the war on terror increasingly framed in terms of a war against radical islamists and evildoers. George W. even stated that God told him to wage war on Afganistan and Iraq!

9. Yep.

10. What kind of power does labor have in America? Almost zero at this point. Unions have little power and every year it shrinks further. Where was labor power during the mass oursourcing of manufacturing and technology jobs over the last decade? Where are the solid middle class jobs that America was known for as little as 20 years ago? Going, going, soon to be gone.

11. This one is pretty subtle in America. Think about global warming. What is the whitehouse position in relation to scientific concensus? When's the last time you saw a Noam Chomsky interview during prime time? See, there is no need for this in the 21st century. Today, intellectuals are simply unable to get their messages to the masses. I'm constantly blown away by the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that exists both here at DU and elsewhere, but unless some galvanizing event occurs like a new boston tea party, there is simply no need for such a formal policy by our government.

12. Patriot Act, Military Commisions Act, Department of Homeland Security. THere is no need for 20th century type laws now. We are largely self restrained due to #'s 1,3,6,7,9, and 10.

13. Yep

14. At the root of our election troubles is the financing of the elections themselves and the lack of viable third and fourth party platforms/representation. Our two party system is beholden to the powerful corporations which subsidize their campaigns and as such, every year that goes by they grow more similar to eachother concerning fundamental policies. I won't go into outright election fraud. Hopefully someone else will cover this for me elsewhere. Suffice it to say that if every vote had been counted in 2000 then Al Gore would have been president and you and I would be elsewhere right now.

In conclusion, America is not so much a traditionally fascist nation, but rather we're redifining fascism for the 21st century.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. ...
"5. To me, as I look deeply and reflect on our mindset historically, I see our present government as extremely sexist, in the sense that even though we have women in powerful positions, their thoughts and actions are those of traditional males. The 21st century is vastly different than the 20th with respect to tradition. This is especially applicable to Rice-I can't thing of a single male friend who is not more feminine in their thinking and being than she is. Where is the female voice in american politics? It hardly exists formally. An honest debate going on within our government with voices echoing Cindy Sheehan would indicate the presense of the female voice in our culture. We've got a long way to go before this happens."

I don't buy that men and women are SO different that their actions can be male or female. Yikes!

"8. Well, it was religious voter turnout which led to the present administration. They successfully framed the debate to get singel issue religious voters to the polls which was a precondition to their plans. Since then, we've seen the war on terror increasingly framed in terms of a war against radical islamists and evildoers. George W. even stated that God told him to wage war on Afganistan and Iraq!"

That's the problem of having a democracy when some voters are morons. And the war on terror, such as it is, IS a war against radical islamists. The evildoers and god crap are sops to the religious right, which in the context of this question, helps to fulfill the definition. But I haven't seen enough of it to make me freak out.

"10. What kind of power does labor have in America? Almost zero at this point. Unions have little power and every year it shrinks further. Where was labor power during the mass oursourcing of manufacturing and technology jobs over the last decade? Where are the solid middle class jobs that America was known for as little as 20 years ago? Going, going, soon to be gone."

But the government didn't wreck labor, cheap labor in Mexico and China did.

"11. This one is pretty subtle in America. Think about global warming. What is the whitehouse position in relation to scientific concensus? When's the last time you saw a Noam Chomsky interview during prime time? See, there is no need for this in the 21st century. Today, intellectuals are simply unable to get their messages to the masses. I'm constantly blown away by the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that exists both here at DU and elsewhere, but unless some galvanizing event occurs like a new boston tea party, there is simply no need for such a formal policy by our government."

I don't know, I read the New Yorker and the Atlantic and I get my share of good academic opinion there. I just don't see it. And Noam Chomsky would never be on TV because people generally are too dumb or disengaged to want to hear that level of political argumentation. Or this level, for that matter.

"In conclusion, America is not so much a traditionally fascist nation, but rather we're redifining fascism for the 21st century."

Well, that's an argument, but it's also more or less a confirmation of my own argument. I have a real reaction against arguments that this government is comparable to the Nazis, Mussolini, etc... And as cliched as it is to say this, 6 million Jews, 40 million Russians, and millions of others would testify to that.
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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #41
68. ...
"I don't buy that men and women are SO different that their actions can be male or female. Yikes!"

Umm, should I insert my foot in my mouth? Maybe I am a sexists? I've always considered it feminine to be compassionate and peace seeking. I just looked up feminine and masculine and was surprised. I thought male and female referred to our sex, but that feminine/masculine were personality descriptors irrespective of sex. I had thought of Condi as masculine and Cindy as feminine. My bad, apologies to all offended.


"And the war on terror, such as it is, IS a war against radical islamists."

I can't say that I agree with this. Certainly there are some radical islamists, but my perspective is that religion is secondary to many who fight against our policies. Stating that the war on terror is a war against radical islamists ignores the fact that if we were not intervening in their countries, then they would not be angry with us. Rather, it's a war on people who are resisting American hegemony who happen to be Moslem.


"But the government didn't wreck labor, cheap labor in Mexico and China did."

And who was it that negotiated the trade agreements that led to our present state of affairs? (Hint-it was not the worker). As I'm proud of saying, "Outsource the CEO's."

"I don't know, I read the New Yorker and the Atlantic and I get my share of good academic opinion there. I just don't see it. And Noam Chomsky would never be on TV because people generally are too dumb or disengaged to want to hear that level of political argumentation. Or this level, for that matter."

As you said earlier, the truth is out there for sure. But, if you follow the money, the vested interest, it seems to me obvious that government and corporate interests are largely the same. They want and actively cultivate ignorance for their own benefit. We are devolved to the point that Noam et al. would not be appreciated.


"I have a real reaction against arguments that this government is comparable to the Nazis, Mussolini, etc... And as cliched as it is to say this, 6 million Jews, 40 million Russians, and millions of others would testify to that."

What I hear people saying is that that the "new fascism" is more about control and power in the form of capitalists/corporations/media in cahoots with members of government. We don't know where the present path we're on will lead us, but it doesn't look good. Calling it fascism takes nothing away from WWII fascist atrocities. For better or worse, words often change meaning with time. There is a growing global movement/awareness calling for a new path. Before we can choose a new path we must first understand the one we're on and why it is failing us. Personally I'm not attached to the word fascism. I kind of like capitofascism myself, but fascism seems to be sticking.

cheers,
egalitarian

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MoseyWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
40. I have to recommend this thread
if only for the civility, but primarily for the thoughtful discussion of ideas. Best thread I've read all day.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. You're the man, Mosey
Thanks!
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
49. Fascism has many forms
Britt's 14 points is in fact not the best starting point to understand the deeper logic, if you will, of a fascistic State. In that light here are some suggested readings. America is most definitely a fascist state but don't consider the caricature of brownshirts as a necessary ingredient. Each form will have its own characteristics based on specific characteristics and identities of that nation. The argument could be made that fascism is rther inherent in the American character and reaching back further one could suggest that that character is deply embedded in the Eurocentric ideology.

Control.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Is America Becoming Fascist?

by ANIS SHIVANI

<snip>

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.

<snip>

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 . . . 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.

http://www.counterpunch.org/shivani1026.html


Students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school on Flag Day in 1899

Editor's Note | This story ran in the New York Times in 1944. Draw your own conclusions and compare Henry Wallace's analysis to the situation we find ourselves in today.

The Danger of American Fascism
By Henry A. Wallace
The New York Times
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 259.

Sunday 09 April 1944

On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:

What is a fascist?
How many fascists have we?
How dangerous are they?

A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.

The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. 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.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/082103F.shtml

The new militarization of American society

You are what you do. -- Jean Paul Sartre

Fascism traditionally employs either a master-race or master-culture narrative. This narrative is reinforced for troops on the ground in Iraq by the circumstances. The role of occupier is the role of dominator, and as the Stanford Prison Experiment proved dramatically, this dominator role very quickly translates into the dehumanization and objectification of the dominated. On the ground, at the infantry level, wars of domination in every instance become race wars.

<snip>

The social currents of racial/cultural supremacy are there. The vigilantism is forming. So two aspects of fascism are already falling into place.

Another aspect, and one that was formative of Timothy McVeigh, is economic destabilization. Fascism can be described as a middle class phenomenon. One can look at the emergence of the three most studied fascist governments, Mussolinis Italy, Francos Spain and Hitlers Germany, and in every case there was a privileged stratum of the working class that had been the beneficiaries of metropolitan capitalist development (courtesy of peripheral colonies) that rubbed shoulders socially with the professional and managerial sectors. In times of instability, friction develops between fractions of this stratum. Insecurity among the lower middle-classes creates anxiety and anger that can easily be directed by populist-sounding demagogues (Mussolini and Hitler actually claimed to be socialist, even as they strengthened the ruling classes in their own societies during militarization). Those just above these fractious masses are caught between their anxiety at the turbulent resentments of the lower stratum and their fear that they themselves are only a paycheck away from joining them. Leftist scholars have documented and explained this class dimension of fascism at some length.

http://www.alternet.org/story/42884 /

I hate the word fascist. It has been bandied about so much and brings up images of Storm troopers in grainy newsreels that it seems devoid of meaning. Furthermore, classical fascism was possible only in a mass society, organized along industrial lines, with one-to-many communications. Classical fascism is a reactionary modernism, a response to class struggle. Both German and Italian variants came to power after the defeat of revolutionary upsurges.

I think our own situation is very different, and a better term needs to be found that captures the unique qualities of our reactionary postmodernism. "Military police state" doesnt quite cut it. Fascism implies policing of thought as well as bodies, todays reaction is selective, policing bodies but allowing private speech and the empty illusions of parliamentary democracy to stand.
This calls to mind some kind of charade -- the identical drama of lies concealing forms that are now drained of all meaning and significance.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Brief (But Creepy) History of America's Creeping Fascism
http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/2002/12/05_Fascis...

Franklin Roosevelt's words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling:
"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, fascism will grow in strength in our
land."


Go here:
http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:pIbsE67Y-14J:www.p...
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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #49
73. AAAAHHHH! Why do I have to scroll left/right to read this thread?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. The government?
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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #77
109. Must be. Rumor has it they are out to get me.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #109
111. That's it
you guys were right. The government is fascist after all.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
54. Just because you ignore reality, doesn't make it disappear
You are wrong on all these points. Take off the blinders and educate yourself. What are you basing your opinions on? Very shortsighted. Or else, as others have posted "BS"

Start with the ones you "concede" and take a look at the others on the list beyond the "Parade Magazine" version of reality.


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.
I don't think anyone can argue against this point.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
This one is unarguable.

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.
Conceded.

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.
Conceded.


It's hard to believe you don't see the flags in the background of the news reports or the religion in the White House and the "faith based" inttrusion into government or the "Rampant Sexism" and "Controlled Mass Media" or any of the others on the list you overlook........

That's why it's called Ignore-ance.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. Heh
Why did you repost all of the points that I've conceded, and then refuse to argue against the ones I didn't?

The flags in the background of news reports is media pandering to viewers whose patriotism spiked after 9/11.

So what rampant sexism?

What control over mass media?

I'm not ignoring anything, I'm debating. Go ahead and tell me what I've missed.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. Others may choose to but IMHO it's up to you to educate yourself a bit
rather than proudly toss out a steamin pile of ignorance and invite people to dive in.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. Chow down, baby! It's delicious!
If that's all you have to say, then happy trails my man!

I look forward to engaging you more substantively at a later date.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #64
71. "Start with the ones you "concede" and take a look at the others on the list"
Like I said:

Start with the ones you "concede" and take a look at the others on the list beyond the "Parade Magazine" version of reality.

Engage yourself.

Why put some sort of "rebuttal" together to have you finally pull your "Gotcha" "you been punk'd" schtick? It's hard enough to take the premise of the OP seriously. And it seems to hinge on the semantic "governnment" rather than look honestly at how these things are actually achieved.

:thumbsdown:

As for "baby" and "my man" -- ya might wanna look into that "Rampant Sexism" thing.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. Hah!
Well, I guess I won't get that debate anytime soon. Look, my points wouldn't be "gotcha" if there was nothing to "get". You're frustrated with my literal analysis, but that's because it's correct. YOU wouldn't have written the 14 points the way they were written. YOU would've written them to encompass non-governmental forces that act in concert with, and with the same aims of, the government. And we can have that debate. But my original post makes very specific points, against a very specific piece of writing that has great currency on DU, and that's all it does.

Again, I look forward to dealing with you substantively in the future.

Ahem, reverting back to Gotcha Mode.

"As for "baby" and "my man" -- ya might wanna look into that "Rampant Sexism" thing."

But I'm not the government, Omega! I'm just a man- a private citizen! Just one man...
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #76
85. Word games to avoid the truth
Look up the definition of fascism

Last kick :kick:
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #85
100. OK
"1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism."

from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fascism

I think I've demonstrated that this is not the case. Word games aside.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #100
103. You've "demonstrated" nothing
but ignorance



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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. Hey-o!
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 11:51 PM by Bronyraurus
You're the man, Omega. Don't ever change.






Unless you actually want to have a meaningful discussion.
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U4ikLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #104
116. Yeah, and Omega just owned your ass in this discussion!!!
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #76
115. Individuals can't be sexist? Wow. tell us more.
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Jonathan50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. Smear campaigns against opposition candidates.
Classic example:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2002-10-13-iraq ...

* Georgia. Images of both bin Laden and Saddam are on the screen in a TV ad that Georgia Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss began airing Friday in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Max Cleland. The ad attacks Cleland as weak and "misleading" on homeland security.

That triggered a bitter denunciation from Cleland, a decorated Vietnam veteran who lost both legs and an arm in that war.

"The attack leveled against me disrespects everything I have worked for throughout my life," Cleland said. He called the ad "the most vicious exploitation of a national tragedy and attempt at character assassination I have ever witnessed. My opponent not only attacked my honor, he attacked the very fiber of my being."
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #65
70. I just found that on Youtube
http://youtube.com/watch?v=tKFYpd0q9nE

The ad is pretty dumb. But the most interesting thing about the ad is that it faults Cleland for going against President Bush. Oh, if Cleland were only running in 2006, there's no way in hell he would've lost!

Aside from that, I guess the ad is a smear insofar as it says that Cleland doesn't have "the courage to lead," whatever the hell that means, and the evidence was that he voted against Bush's security initiatives 11 times.
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Jonathan50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #70
79. Eliminationist rhetoric
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,982270...

January 23, 1995

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals, leave enough around so we can have two on every campus; living fossils, so we will never forget what these people stood for." -Rush Limbaugh


http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_I...

October 9, 2001

""The president noted Rush Limbaugh is a national treasure," one senior White House staffer told the Drudge Report."
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #79
102. I saw that
I just don't see how you can pull one quote from Limbaugh's 20 year career and one quote of Bush praising Limbaugh when he's sick and connect the two.
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
67. Um
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. Interesting chart
I wonder what this chart would look like if the US' drug policy was actually sane.

I also wonder if this just means that our police are better. I wonder what the crime rates are like for the other countries compared to ours.

Also, look at the fact that the US' unsentenced prisoners % is on the low end of this spectrum. In the US, that means that these prisoners are in jail for the span of time before they are sentenced, because a US citizen cannot sit in jail unless he is sentenced or a sentence is pending (aside from the 48 hours where he can be put in jail without being charged with a crime). But what does that mean in Kenya, or Mexico, or Turkey? One shudders...
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #72
75. See above post
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
69. US media is completely controlled
With the brilliance of this being in the fact that many liberals can't recognize this.

" I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have had the best training in the world -- in the field of advertizing -- and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency ... Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious ... I think that the fundamental difference between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours ... and we tend to disbelieve ours. "

a Soviet correspondent based five years in the U.S.

"The Gulf War ... was made popular by an immense propaganda barrage unleashed by the Pentagon, the media, and government, creating an ideological milieu in which 45 percent of the population said it would be prepared to use nuclear weapons against Iraq. Military actions were, transformed into a grotesque national spectacle, a great celebration of war-making."

Carl Boggs

"The major media are large corporations, owned by and interlinked with even larger conglomerates. Like other corporations, they sell a product to a market. The market is advertisers - that is, other businesses. The product is audiences, for the elite media, relatively privileged audiences. So we have major corporations selling fairly wealthy and privileged audiences to other businesses. Not surprisingly, the picture of the world presented reflects the narrow and biased interests and values of the sellers, the buyers and the product."

Noam Chomsky (from Take the Rich Off Welfare)


"One of the intentions of corporate-controlled media is to instill in people a sense of disempowerment, of immobilization and paralysis. Its outcome is to turn you into good consumers. It is to keep people isolated, to feel that there is no possibility for social change."

David Barsamian, journalist and publisher


"The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly."

Noam Chomsky, American linguist and US media and foreign policy critic
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #69
78. The fourth branch of the government... a.k.a. the media
Six media corporations control 90 percent of the broadcasts and newpaper circulation, and 95 percent of the movies made (the mythology factory). They have a cartel known as MPAA with the largest lobby in DC. They serve as the brainstem of the system. They are a transmission belt for the propaganda at all times that count (i.e., before a war they've always gone along - afterwards they do some pretend criticism). They have aggressively worked for a general dumbing down of the majority and increasingly provide most all of the sophisticated niche amusements for special markets.

The OP's mistake lies in the centrist denseness of pretending the corporations and the government can still be easily distinguished as separate entities. There is a single corporate agenda and the government executes it. The personnel are the same people. The Bush administration is little more than a marriage of oil to guns to the covert policy apparatus.

The OP also ignores the covert policy apparatus, where so much of the power lies. Long as policy is pursued in secret and kept from the people, it can hardly be called democratic. Deep politics.

Anyway, a checklist of 14 formal points is not how to determine something like this. They all relate to "classic" European fascism of the 1930s. We have something very different today, spectacular, pervasive, much more successful. A hybrid. Gangsterism.

Have I mentioned the utterly laughable premise that 9/11 was not even the blowback of imperialist policy but the product of true enemies? (In fact, it was orchestrated from within the spook apparatus). That would certainly put a different spin on all 14 points.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
91. Here's a few more points that should go on your list
Edited on Thu Mar-01-07 11:33 PM by EstimatedProphet
1) Bush has clearly used the military and members of the military as props. How many speeches has he given in front of military audiences, just to use the fact that they are in the military and supposedly support him? I'd say this counts as powerful nationalism.

For example: http://www.counterpunch.com/byrd05072003.html

And let's not forget "Mission Accomplished"!

2) Someone upthread made the point that habeas corpus also should be considered part of human rights. I agree.

3) The administration has made a systematic attempt to define Muslims as a scapegoat. In 2003 Bush was saying they don't have the same values as we do. He also talked about Islamic Radicalism - http://www.juancole.com/2006/08/bush-islamic-fascism-an... - and rarely does he mention Islam without trying to throw in some sort of scare modifier.

Also, I think it is a valid point that the people of the US do a lot of scapegoating too. Just because it isn't visibly put forward by the government, doesn't mean that the government is doing good.

6) This one is WAY off, in my opinion. Remember the bit where Letterman showed a clip of Bush speaking, and there was a kid clowning around within camera shot? If not, what happened was that Letterman showed the clip, the next morning CNN reported on it, and then a few minutes later they reported that Letterman had digitally inserted the kid into the clip as a joke. As it came out, they were told to say that by the White House. THAT is how much the media is actually controlled. Besides, you must have noticed by now how often the cable news outlets say word-for-word exactly the same thing, right? Those are talking points faxed out from the White House! If that doesn't constitute government control of the media, nothing possibly can.

8) Government is in bed with fundamentalism. As an example, how about the fact that the National Park Service is now required to sell books about the creationist theory of how the Grand Canyon was formed in the gift shop there? Also, what about Justice Sunday? Republican congresscreeps show up to fundie gatherings and campaign. Clear case of Government/religion complicity.

10) Outsourcing is a perfect example of this case. You can't have labor unions when the jobs are gone. And this government has given astounding tax breaks to outsourcing companies, which promotes more outsourcing.

11) I'd say that the government has been hostile to academia, but in a much more covert way. Things like NCLB (because this point is really about education per se) count towards this, but IMO the biggest hostility towards intellectualism (and it is definitely there) comes from the punditry. So, I'll leave this point to someone else.

12) Patriot Act. Loss of habeas corpus. Illegal wiretapping. Loss of posse commitatus. Loss of the "knock law". If you ask me, the police have been getting far too powerful. It doesn't matter that they haven't been nationalized, especially since the Patriot Act lets them act as one force through free communication.

14) Not even close to being arguable - elections have become a joke here. That's why the Repubs fought so hard to keep the voting machines, and called anyone who wanted verifiability traitors. And can you really say that elections haven't been run over by smear campaigns and media manipulation? YOU KNOW that's not true!

I think you're looking too hard at the trees to see the forest. There's only a couple points I would say may not be valid indications of fascism in America, and you don't have to have the whole list.
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MoseyWalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #91
97. I'm beginning to think that is the point
a little thought and discussion never hurts.

"I think you're looking too hard at the trees to see the forest. "
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #97
101. I agree - thought and discussion are good things
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
93. related thread
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
94. Thanks for your post. Some comments:
I'm unfamiliar with the 14 elements of fascism, but here's my take on your 14 points.

1. To me this is fairly minor. Each and every Admin photo op, press conference, or such has come with the trappings, though. I can take it or leave it, but now that you mention it, the point is raised.

2. Human rights used to be an international standard that we supported. Our exit from established Geneva Conventions is a glaring example, as is our exit from the Hague Convention, nuclear disarmament pacts, etc.

3. I disagree. This Administration has not realistically and consistently identified the perps. Cloaking them in a vague "terrorist" label does little to solve the problem. If the Administration's goal is to limit militant Islamic extremism, they ought to say so, and present a plan to address it, without the window dressing. If their goal is to bring the perps of 9/11 to justice, as they once ascertained, they ought to do so, or give someone, somewhere an update on their progress.

4. Yeah, our budget priorities are skewed.

5. You might need to back up this assumption: "And divorce, abortion, and homosexuality have all INCREASED since this government took power."

6. Censorship in wartime is very common, as you mention. One of the key factors in the American perception of the VietNam War, though, was the level of independent reporting. They were not "embedded" or corralled. There a few voices out there that don't read the press releases from the Emerald City and leave it at that. More power to them. And, for what it's worth, not all are anti anything. They're first hand, objective reports. That's journalism, in my understanding.

7. Yeah, fear has almost become the national modus operandi. And it only fosters short term, knee jerk responses. Discourse has become anathema, in some ways.

8. I think the function of some religious organizations in this Administration is clear. Money and the ability to turn out an electorate. Ultimately, I doubt it has anything to do with any specific spiritual belief, but that's just my take. There's a good case to be made that we view North Korean and Iranian nuclear ambitions differently based on religion, one an agnostic state, the other Islamic, but I think it's a stretch.

9. Again, I think the function of corporations in this Administration is misunderstood. Folks tend to view the relationship in a political framework - i.e. capitalism, socialism, Marxism, fascism or whatever. I disagree. I think the Mafia is a better framework from which to view this Administration's behavior. Totally apolitical.

10. One example - the Administration's opposition to established federal bargaining standards, as well as civil service regulations in the Homeland Security Department.

11. The litany of scientists citing government intrusion on debate is deafening. It sure looks political, even from a lay man's point of view.

12. I'll pass on this one.

13. "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie." Young, inexperienced folks hired to manage billions in the (Iraq) Coalition Provisional Authority having little or no experience in the tasks at hand, save membership in a (Republican) political organization.

14. I'll pass on this one, as well. The arguments are well known.

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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #94
106. I see your points
There are good arguments all around. Interesting times indeed!
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-01-07 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. Thanks everyone!
Big fun for a Thursday night. Thanks to everyone who took the time to debate these points with me.

Now go to bed!
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Jonathan50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
112. War is a racket
http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket...

by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient:

Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC


Chapter One

WAR IS A RACKET

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep's eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce , their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other's throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people not those who fight and pay and die only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in "International Conciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

"And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace... War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-02-07 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
118. Locking.
This thread is a flamefest.
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