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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:42 AM
Original message
Is it fascism yet?
I'm actually wondering to what extent the PTB are worried about this. They have utter contempt for Palin, and attack her in class-based language ("snowbilly" etc.). Unlike Bush, whose real base was the PTB but who could fake being a down-home ignorant whackjob, Palin is the real thing. I mean really, Bush would never be caught dead in one of those speaking in tongues churches, ever.

However, the PTB seem to be getting very comfortable using the whackjobs against health care reform, and none with any stature has really spoken out. So, how much trouble are we in, really?

http://www.alternet.org/rights/141819/is_the_u.s._on_th...


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

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

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

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

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. it's the end of the world. Again.
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. People use anger to create fear, don't take in the anger and let it effect you.
That's how I think on it.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. Their Spiral has been comp'd to the point of desperationj....their mode of Negativity has no Place
in the Face of POSITIVITY....Reason, Logic, Sanity, Common Good, Truth, Fairness, Advancement, Security, Leadership closest to the foregoing...

Nazism = Bullyism = Negative = Bad Leadership = Poor Decisions = Losses = Poorer Lifestyles = More poverty = more crime/misery = More Prisons/rehab = drain on Society = less budget = Weakened Gov't = unable to adequately invest in solutions for long term recovery = long recovery period = austere living = pressure to remove Nazi Leaders = replace with Positive Bemevolent Leaders = a better Society.....
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. Bush was faking evangelical stuff... really?
The same Bush that this week was revealed as calling the leader of France and talking up a "Holy War" in Iraq, complete with Gog and Magog references? And that the end-times were here? That Bush?

No. He really was one of them. A Tru-Believer(tm). The PTB liked him because they controlled the people around him, mostly his fathers cronies. They don't have that kind of influence with Palin. She has Greta and her Scientologist husband. The PTB (by which you mean the money people) really don't like the Scientology aspect.

But you are correct, we are at the cusp of fascism. All it takes is another Pearl Harbor event. Or Dallas event. That combined with unemployment at near an all time high along with the "loss of empire" malaise, and you have an angry mob mentality.

They came close in the 1930s, complete with an attempted military coup on FDR. Father Coughlin on the radio was everything that Beck/Rush/Palin could ever hope to be. National heroes like Charles Lindbergh were openly pushing for our own Nazi fascist nation. It was close. I don't think many realize just how close.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:52 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, that Bush. All the Gog and Magog stuff was for the wingnuts, IMO
Bush never, ever went to church, unlike Palin, who not only attends a whackjob church, but was "anointed" by a witch doctor. The PTB knew where the Shrub's loyalty really lay. Palin is a loose cannon.

It's only in the past few years that I've learned how close we came in the 30s. I'm wondering if Obama really gets what we are up against.
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. The call to Jacques Chirac, and it was entirely private...
never meant for public consumption.

No, Bush was four square nuts. He didn't HAVE to go to church. He claims that when he prayed (as he often did in the Oval Office) that GOD SPOKE TO HIM. He was so certain of his own decisions about things BECAUSE THEY WERE FROM GOD. He was the "decider".

Bush was a theocrat. Not only did HE believe, but many of his followers (including theocrats in our military) believe that he was selected by god to be the President. The certainty was one many issues that his father had with W. being President.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. That's why Rumsfeld felt the need to lace Bush's documents with biblical verses?
I think Bush was a true believer wingnut, and those around him used that fact to control him.

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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Or used his "belief" as an excuse for doing whatever he jolly well felt like doing? n/t
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. That's what Religion does best. n/t
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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
9. Mmm Mmm, that GOP Koolade looks mighty tasty
If John McCain was president, I think we'd be well on our way to a police state.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Hell, even the chicken is angry at Burger King....
what a strange advertising campaign. It's like they are directly marketing to the pissed off Faux news right wing.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
11. You need a definition for fascism
according to the classical definition thereof - fascism being a merger of state and corporate power - I don't see how any reasonable person could deny we're there (TARP, anyone? GM/Chrysler?)
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. i guess I'm not a reasonable person then. Of course I think your definition is incomplete
I would argue that you left out a key element of the "classical" definition of fascism: a totalitarian government. Maybe you think that is what we have. Those who have lived under actual authoritarian rule tend to disagree.

If all it takes its government bailouts to equal fascism, then I guess we've been a fascist state ever since the government started running AMTRAK. Or when the government bailed out Chrysler and the Continental Illinois National Bank years ago. Or when various industries were effectively nationalized on a short term basis during WWI and WWII.

Or maybe its not fascism.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. It's not totalitarian?
All right, I'll play along. Name me one actual limit on federal power in 2009, or one aspect of life in which it has not intruded/plans to intrude.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. the mechanisms and infrastucture are indeed in place
however aside from that odd period of time right after 9-11 they have not been used. We have sort of a benign totalitarianism, one that has been dialed down to 1, but that can be dialed up to 11 if the natives get restless.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. if we had a totalitarian, authoritarian government, there wouldn't be teabaggers
or town hall disrupters. The government would suppress them. Going back one administration, as bad it they were and while they would have liked to suppress dissent, they didn't, and couldn't. And they were sent packing in a regularly scheduled election, something that rarely happens to authoritarian and totalitiarian regimes. Unless of course you think replacing the bush administration with the Obama administration was replacing one totalitarian regime with another. I know some here at DU are of that view. I disagree with them and suspect most people ("reasonable people?) share my view that the Obama administration is not fascist. There is another site where the majority of posters probably think that is the case. But those folks are certifiably nuts.


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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Why would a totalitarian government suppress their own supporters?
And when you go back one administration, you get "Free Speech Zones" and Cindy Sheehan getting arrested for wearing a dissenting t-shirt.

The Obama administration has very little to do with this, and will have less, if these people have their way. You're mistaking the executive for the whole.



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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. so we have a totalitarian government but you don't think the administration
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 06:01 PM by onenote
or the Democratically controlled congress are totalitarian?

And if the Obama administration suppressed the teabaggers that would be evidence that the government is NOT totalitarian?

I"m sincerely confused as to who you think the government is.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I think you're working very hard to discount who the power brokers are
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 06:21 PM by EFerrari
in this country.

You are arguing a totalitarion government when the article in the OP does no such. Did you read it? It doesn't sound like it.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I'm responding in this subthread to a post that defined fascism as
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 06:47 PM by onenote
the "merger of state and corporate power" and that gave as evidence TARP and the chryser/GM bailouts which suggests a view that the government is an integral part of fascist rule.


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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. quickly, now: how did Mussolini define fascism?
oops. what would he know, anyway?
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #30
38. Exactly as I defined it
My definition was taken word-for-word from Mussolini's, of course.

And the evidence is right in front of our eyes how every decision of consequence is written on corporate desks and passed through to their bribed legislators unaltered; none of this changed in the slightest when Obama was elected. If anything it's gotten more blatant and more overt - the Treasury getting all its staff from Goldman Sachs and its kin, a pharma lobbyist made the lead for health care efforts, an Enron (!!!) PR rep hired to do PR for the Federal Reserve, a Raytheon lobbyist as the first defense appointment, and so on. And on the other side of the government-corporate power merger we have things like TARP and GM and Chrysler and innumerable other businesses that survive only on political favors.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Okay. Actually, the essay in the OP has two other defs of fascism
that you might find interesting.

And having said that, there is no doubt that our representatives represent their donors much more vigilantly than they represent us. That's why Nancy Pelosi is having a town hall in DENVER this year, and not here.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. fascism does not have to be totalitarian
although it certainly can be and was in its classic form in Italy and Germany. Irrational radical middle class rightwing political movements that mix religion racism nationalism and authoritarianism are what I would refer to as proto-fascist, and that is what we have right now.
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GCP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
13. I agree with the OP entirely
I've lived here since 1980, am a dual citizen, and I've never been nearer to moving back to the UK. This country is circling the drain. Even my younger son is a gun-nut who rants about Socialized Medicine, despite all our years of progressive parenting.
I'm in despair of this country ever doing anything right.
It's a country of, by and for the corporations, period.
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
15. Sorta
The town hall meetings are fascist.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
19. Been here. Doing that.


Great OP, eridani. The game was figured out in a Bavarian jail cell a ways back:

"How fortunate for leaders that men do not think."

Author Clive James calls the process "revolutionary conservatism":

How the intellectual climate in Germany shaped the future Fhrer

We today are absolutely in the middle of what good people everywhere have faced -- angry reaction from the stooges of those with big money and a love of violence.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Don't forget to add the word organized
From the beginning we've watched as Rush and Hannity and Coulter have babied and fed and directed the angry purists who want their race to be the only one in power. They can now be directed to do the mob thuggery the Washington masters (example - Dick Army) want. They are stoked constantly, kept angry and in high dudgeon, transported to target sites and instructed carefully on how to disrupt. They are organized.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. Republican congressman questions Obama BC at town hall:
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
22. A certain element of fascism is always a threat...

this is where the military-industrial PTB (including foreign powers) infiltrate the government and their political base is provided an ideology with many of the elements that characterize what we think of as fascism. In this case it is these 'neo-fascists' who are calling Obama a Nazi (pot, kettle, black). Right-wing pundits circulate and continually echo the propaganda stirring up the base of nationalists, keying into their authoritarian tendencies (so well described by Rachel Maddow).
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. I agree with the author that the most concerning element now in play
is to see establishment Republican elites throwing in with crazy thugs.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
25. The folks who are being subjected to the growth of Fascism in their mdist, are the last to fully
realize it...

An excerpt from
They Thought They Were Free
The Germans, 1933-45
Milton Mayer

But Then It Was Too Late


"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesnt make people close to their government to be told that this is a peoples government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security.
And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

<snip>

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice itplease try to believe meunless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, regretted, that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these little measures that no patriotic German could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

<snip>



much much more at...
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. but but but, it can't happen HERE!
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 07:03 PM by Gabi Hayes
don't you even dare consider it





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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. Zackly!!!!!
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. NO. It does not take "much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever""
"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice itplease try to believe meunless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, regretted, that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these little measures that no patriotic German could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."

No. Not this time. Because we had a generation of people who LEARNED and knew that history about the Germans, who were sensitized by the events of the 60's and 70's and SHOULD HAVE KNOW BETTER. Some did. And warned. And warned. And warned..........

Every little chip away at that stone that we are ALL supposed to be so oblivoius to, was pointed out by those with the memory and resolve to say "NEVER AGAIN," to "detached from the whole process."

And here we are.

The American sheeple LIHOP. Yes, some are tuned out for one reason or another. However, every step of THIS rise of fascism has been COMPLETELY in your face, hidden in plain sight.

Those who went along with it damn well chose to be willfully ignorant. :evilfrown:
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Willfully ignorant.....that's it!
It would seem that latent Fascism has been here even before corporations got full control of the govt.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. As far as I'm concerned
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 07:57 PM by omega minimo
it was ovbvious in June 1979 when media told the American people that Reagan would win... that drumbeat up til November, the Reagan/Bush deal with Iran to delay release of the hostages... a 37% TURNOUT OF VOTERS :evilfrown: Reagan's "landslide" was 19% of eligible voters.

I was so pissed I voted AFTER Carter threw in the towel (he conceded before the polls closed in the West).

The split screen release of the hostages DURING Reagan's inauguration was just the first of decades of directed quite blatantly at chickenshit Americans.

If "chickenshits" sounds harsh, it seems more polite than HYPOCRITES.
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Remember Pogo's famous line?



A Word To The Fore, the foreword of the book The Pogo Papers. Since the strips reprinted in Papers included the first appearances of Mole and Simple J. Malarkey, beginning Kelly's attacks on McCarthyism, Kelly used the foreword to defend his actions:

"Specializations and markings of individuals everywhere abound in such profusion that major idiosyncrasies can be properly ascribed to the mass. Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.

"There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.

"Forward!"
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